Archive for October, 2009

Mason Bee House

Mason Bee House

Mason Bee House

EARTHLINKS in Denver, a non-profit organization that works with disadvantaged persons, was having a fund-raiser, and invited persons to submit MASON BEE HOUSES for an auction.  The Mason Bee is a gentle blue-black metallic North American bee that does not live in hives or colonies.  It is a pollinator, especially in orchards, but does not produce honey.  In nature it nests within hollow stems, woodpecker drilling s and insect holes found in trees or wood.  In the spring, about the time the red bud trees bloom, the female bee gathers pollen, goes into the nesting hole, forms the pollen and nectar in the back of the nesting tube, lays an egg on the ball, then collects mud to make a cell partition (hence the name “mason”).  She then repeats this activity until the tube is full of eggs, each in its own cell, or compartment.

Jane made the bee house out of a dried gourd that had grown here at the Farm, and was stored  in the barn loft.  She drilled holes in the gourd, put in “straw liners” made of hollowed out hemp stems,  added hemp stems for arms and antennas, clear plastic from recyclable bottles for wings, and painted the gourd to look like a bee!  She received an award for  “best use of recycled materials”  and the staff at Earthlinks said “gave them many laughs” and the bee house sold for $ 75.00 at the auction!  Now we want her to make one for here, for next spring!   We suggest you  Google “Orchard Mason Bees” – very interesting!

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October 9, 2009 at 12:44 am Leave a comment