Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Solitary Bee

So I can safely declare my mason been project a success by now. After an entire year spent inside their bamboo straws all of my bees have flown away, leaving their cells empty and dusty. That’s very fortunate, there must have been at last thirty of them, so I’m very proud of my contribution to pollination and wildlife. Too bad I haven’t been able to witness a single first flight, it all happened so quickly over a few days, and before I could replace the straws (they’re supposed to be replaced in order to prevent parasites) the bees were back, very busy building new cells inside the old straws. Actually, one afternoon upon returning home I watched up and saw my balcony all buzzing, and for a week or so I had to be very careful while gardening because the bees would come close to my face to observe me, especially when I was watering the flowers. They would also make fun of the cat. I counted at least eight of them. Who were they? Maybe some of the females back to their own cells? Or foreign females informed by some scent trace or bee language? Anyway, they all decided to use the old straws, and only three straws of the new house have been occupied so far. I hope they know what they’re doing, maybe they’ve decided my organic balcony is free enough of dangers and pests. The little one you see in the photo is the very first mason bee that came to my balcony to nest last spring. Now I’m lodging the third generation in three different houses.

osmia

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