Surrey365; Day 50. Of all the bees I’ve loved before…
Last May, I spent many hours watching mason bees – Osmia bicornis, I think – building their nests in the bamboo canes of our wildlife stack. I watched one in particular for a couple of weeks, coming and going as she constructed the many chambers of her nest. Here is a fascinating and detailed explanation of how mason bees construct their nest.
Having watched her so closely, I was determined to get photos of her sealing up the tube when she had finished. Every morning I rushed out to make sure that she hadn’t completed it already. Eventually, I got my pictures; you can see the little ball of mud held in her front legs, which she then rolled all over the surface of the mud seal, building up the layers. When she finally finished, I think I was expecting her to to have a well-deserved rest. Instead, she flew a few inches away and immediately began scoping out other tubes – I couldn’t believe it. If bees could drink wine and have a nice long bath, she’d have deserved it.
Here are a few pictures of her finishing off last year. I’ve been watching that particular tube very closely this spring.