Monday, April 4, 2016

Bee Progress Report

Today we went outside and observed the Mason bees. The Mason bees were flying in and out of their reed tubes where they lived. We noticed the mud in two reed tubes. The female puts pollen and nectar  in a ball together inside the tube and then lays an egg on top of it. (Of course, she has to resist eating it for herself.)  She uses mud or plants or both to block of the entrance to the nest cell. The mud keeps the eggs inside the tubes until they are adults and hatch next spring. The female seals off the tube with mud to protect her eggs.

We also checked how many Mason bees had hatched. Out of our ten bee cocoons, now there is only one unhatched. We planted African daisies for the Mason bees to pollinate. Some other plants in our yard which have pollen for the bees: blueberries bushes, dandelions, the pieris shrubs in the front yard, tulips, and the cherry tree.

(This progress report was a result of a conversation between Kiddo and Mom, consulting "Pollination with Mason Bees by Dr Margriet Dogterom, and lots of dictation and refining)