Sunday, 5 May 2013

Return of the mason bees

As a Christmas present in 2012 I was given a home made bee box for solitary bees and in the first year, red mason bees swiftly moved in a laid their eggs in in the holes:

Now 12 months later, the next generation are emerging:

The white face and long antenna indicate that these are males and have emerged first and are waiting for the females who will emerge later before mating and repeating the cycle.


  1. Martin Gulliver6 May 2013 at 03:22

    Excellent! I made a bee box and put it up a few weeks back - I'm hopeful of residents!

  2. Great news! I'm hopeful that the neat holes which have appeared in a neglected part of my garden (my wild bit!)are made by some kind of solitary bees. I'm waiting for a sunny day to sit and watch for a while. No hope of that for the next few days!
    I've planted a lot of wildflowers this year too as a lot of cultivated plants are not useful to bees (often either sterile or pollen hard to reach according to Gardeners' Question Time)

  3. Hi Martin,
    Good luck with your bee box, let me know if you have any visitors - they do have to be facing the sun.

  4. Hi Rachel,
    I do find I spend a lot of time sat by the bee box watching the bees. Please let me know what you have.
    You're right, complex flowers like roses are very bad for bees. We've been inspired by the herbaceous borders at waterperry and oxford botanic gardens and have planted blockaders, aster and scabious - which were popular with the bees last year.
    But probably the most popular is a rosemary bush, this flowers most of the year and the bees love it (and it's easy to look after).

    1. That's interesting Richard,
      My bee holes are about 5 feet from a rosemary bush! There's lavender nearby too.

    2. Hi Rachel,
      I noticed two moths, a damselfly and several different bees on it. So inspired by your comment I was going to write a blog post on the rosemary - but when I had got my camera, they had all gone - maybe another day (if it stops raining).