As One Ends, Others Start

I’ve been raising mason (orchard) bees for four springs¬†now and they have been really beneficial in pollinating my fruit trees and making the fruit taste better. I had harvested over 700 cocoons in March and by this time, only a few of the hatched bees are left…the others have filled nesting tubes with eggs (they die after they lay all their eggs).

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This year, an apartment-dwelling neighbor has set up a small honeybee hive on top of our garage roof and filled it with 10,000 honeybees. There are so many, I can look out my office window and see them collecting pollen from the blooms on my maple tree.

Earlier this morning, I went outside and got closer to the hive to see observe her bees. They were actively flying in and out of the hive. Some were even getting a drink from the water pan.

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My mason bees are almost done laying eggs and will die soon, so my work is done until the end of winter. The honeybees are just starting their work. I can’t wait to taste some of the honey from my neighbor’s collection in the fall!

 

I just love that we’re both doing our part to help pollinate our little neighborhood.

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Other Bees

6869219235_eebc69f87b_oNow that my mason bees have died (naturally) and the larva are developing in their cocoons, I’ve had a chance to observe other bees around my house. Usually, it’s bumblebees and yellow jackets. Both are beneficial pollinators, but I really dislike the yellow jackets. They can attack honey bees, plus I’m allergic to their sting. Yeah, I’m allergic to the honey bee sting, too, but there’s just something about yellow jackets that I hate, making me very prejudice against those menacing yellow & black nuisance.

I was walking from my car to the front steps and noticed quite a few honey bees on my lavender blooms. There were around a dozen bees, which is the most I’ve seen near my house.¬† I stood there, with my neighbor, watching them for several minutes. So, now I’m wondering, does somebody have a hive close by? I’m thrilled to see this many after years of seeing none!