They're Baaack!! The Buzz on Bees with Bee Butler Michael King
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This morning we welcomed some special visitors to the hotel who will be taking up residence with us, hopefully permanently and hopefully their children will too in the years to come!
In a little house the size of a bird nesting box we have placed about two dozen mason bee cocoons which will be hatching out as mason bees in the next several days and beginning the process of pollinating blooms in our gardens including our vegetable garden and bee garden.
These little bees are one of the most efficient pollinators in the world and help people around the world grow and harvest crops especially fruit trees which they are able to pollinate earlier than the honey bees due to their ability to withstand lower outside temperatures and because they emerge earlier than honey bees generally do.
The mason bee males are the first to hatch out and will wait for the females before mating with them and then dying. The females will live on for several weeks pollinating plants and bringing a small quantity of pollen back to a chosen nesting site where she will deposit one egg at a time and place a small amount of the pollen beside it and then plug the nesting site with a small amount of mud that will dry to form a protective barrier against other pests. The females will all have died by mid to late June but they will leave their legacy in the eggs they have laid which will then become next years mason bee population. These eggs will turn into a larva, fee on the pollen supply next to them, spin a cocoon and change into a pupa which will remain in their ‘bed’ until the following spring when the entire process begins all over again.
Help us welcome the humble and underrated Mason bee, natures early season pollinator and the insect most likely to help fruit trees like apple, cherry, pear and plum develop their fruit later in the season and a sure sign to all of us that spring in this part of the world at least, is on the way!
Learn more about our bees and #BeeButler at: http://bit.ly/greenhotelinitiatives