Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Leaf-cutter and Mason bees and bamboo homes

Since having our first insect house with its bamboo insect nesting homes my love of bees has increased like an explosion in space. During the early years, I wondered why some of the holes appeared to be blocked with mud whilst others were packed with leaves. Since that time I have found that the mud-packed entrances were made by a Mason bee. A slightly smaller bee although similar in shape to the Leaf-cutter bee. The Mason bee lay their eggs and fill their chambers in late May and throughout June. So when the Leaf-cutter bees arrive in late June and early July there are only a few stragglers of Mason’s remaining. These however do compete for bamboo holes and sometimes bomb each other. One bee will fly on top and try to push the bee underneath downwards sometimes quite violently.

The Leaf-cutter bees will try and pull out the mud from unfinished Mason bee homes and the Mason bees will try to remove any leaves to holes that they have initially cleaned out. Eventually one bee will give in and the victor will continue to make their nest along that particular length of bamboo.

Insect house made from bamboo for bees

Leaf-cutter bee close-up

Carrying the leaves - Leaf-cutter bees

Flying Leaf-cutter bee

Leaf-cutter bees sharing the insect house with Mason bees

Leaf-cutter bee close-up as she shores up a chamber

Filling the bamboo and making chambers - Leaf-cutters

Leaf-cutter bees making nest chambers

Leaf-cutter bee

Leaf-cutter bees and Mason bees July 2013

Leaf-cutter and Mason bees sharing the Insect House and using the bamboo chambers to lay their eggs

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