Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mason Bees

I have a couple of Mason Bee houses by the patio and they are all a buzz with industrious bees making their nests in the tubes. I was busy potting up some plants when I heard a furious buzzing, a really high-pitched buzz-whine of a bee. I thought it sounded rather odd so I followed the sound back to one of the house and gingerly lifted the house off its peg, thinking that maybe a bee had gotten itself trapped somehow around the back or caught in a spiderweb (sorry spiders, you aren't allowed to eat my bees) and was trying with all its might to get out. As I was standing there, house in hand, staring dumbly at it, out flew the bee. "Ahhhgh!", I said. "Ahhhgh!", said the bee. "What are you doing messing with my house?"
It wasn't in distress, it was big, fat and shiny and very black-blue. A glorious specimen. I now wonder if the furious buzzing was coming from her fanning dry the mud-plugs by which she blocks off each egg from the other in the nesting tube.


  1. I was not familiar with Mason Bees, so I read up on Wikipedia. Apparently, it is too warm for them down here where I live. Great post!

  2. I clicked on the picture to view the larger version and it is simply fantastic. Love the background too.

  3. Oh, NICELY done, Heidi! What a great you also have carpenter bees?

  4. Love your mood-making bee protrait. I've had a bee house in the garden for years. It's made of wood drilled with lots of 1/4 inch diameter round holes drilled in it. No bees in it though! I'll keep waiting.

  5. What a fascinating story about your mason bees! Those colors on your bee painting are wonderfully rich.

  6. Thanks Katy! I'm sorry you don't get them, they are quite tame and only sting like a mosquito if you should accidentally provoke one.
    Thank you Sketch Gurl!
    Kate, I'm not sure if I have carpenter bees at the moment. I'll keep my eyes peeled.
    Jeanette, I jump-started my bee house by purchasing some cocoons a few years back from the local garden centre. That's all it took.
    Thanks Elizabeth! I have added some flakes of gold leaf on the legs to imitate pollen. It looks pretty groovy! :)


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