I was glad to see the Bees are taking to the boards I made for them during the winter. There were concerns that their preferences are more complex than what I could construct for them. Though it would seem they are much more flexible on homes than I thought. They have been taking to just all about of them, the full circle holes, big and small, the crescent shaped holes big and small. I see them using them all, really quite glad. Though ill probably take the home design that allows the most holes be in there for the Bees to have many places to lay their larva.
Sometimes they just hang out in the bee boards looking out into the world. I captured that in the below photo, the female was just looking around for a few minutes before taking flight to collect more mud or pollen.
|Camera Model||Lumix GH3|
|Lens||Olympus MSC ED M. 60mm Macro lens|
|Shutter Speed||1/125 sec|
|Wavelength||380 through 700 nanometers|
|Location||North Georgia USA.|
Flying up to the bee boards, this Mason Bee is covered in pollen. Little flakes of it can be seen all over her abdomen. Making dozens if not hundreds of trips to the bee boards I constructed for them. She will lay larva inside and mud over the home and build many of them in a single hole.
Another female hard at work building cells inside the bee boards, as they fill the backs of the homes up they work their way towards the front until they are at the end of the hole. Which they then mud it off and its done, until I harvest them in the fall.
They crawl in and usually spend anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds scraping off the pollen from their bodies and collecting the mud into a wall to build homes for their offspring.
They have many holes to use, I do not think I have enough females this year for all the holes to be occupied. Though they should be around for another month, so maybe they will fill more than I expect.
The yellow butts of one kind of Bee that visits the homes use their abdomen to store pollen. This is different from Honey Bees that have pollen sacs on their legs. Solitary Bees do not have these organs and must cover their body in pollen to collect it. So that yellow butt is probably covered in pollen. Bringing it back home to feed the larva inside.
Peaking inside the bee house constructed last year, the Bees have a head start on those homes. As they took to them before the larger bee cubbies. So these homes will be completed earlier than the ones shown previously.
To encourage the Bees to use the bee boards, I wheeled the bee house over to where I saw the Bees building homes in a hanging planter. Shortly after they started checking out the boards inside and within a day they were mostly going to the bee boards instead of the hanging planters.. Success!
I then wheeled the bee house back towards the bee cubbies and sure enough they got curious about those homes too. And within a few days they also started visited those bee boards which could be seen by webcam.
A bee in flight on its way to its home, its fun to watch them wonder all over the holes until they find the one they are working on. They mark the hole entrance with a smell they recognize and makes it easier to find their homes.
Regarding the webcam, for some reason I cannot stream to 3speak right now, my stream key does not work and I no longer have an option to start a new stream. So I may move back to Vimm. I sent an email to 3speak asking them what happened as I did not stream 24/7 as they requested. Even though they offer special keys to MSP and say to contact them about broadcasting 24/7. When I asked them for the 24/7 key a few weeks ago they said they do not offer it and would ban anyone that did try. So not sure what I did wrong, waiting to hear back from 3speak.
Addresses below to help me buy better camera equipment and support me to travel to locations to do photo and video and overall great blogs in new places. I would be happy to list some of the contributors in my posts for donations that help me along the way.