(Thank you Kevin for the awesome Odd Fellows’ Beehive banner, heralding this years’ extraction… which will be available soon from Empress Honey Co!)
There’s a groundlessness when things fall apart. Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. There’s an urgency to knowing the unknown. but it’s only time.. nothin’ but time.
Last year I set up a mason bee house & ordered Osmia Californica & Osmia Lignaria cocoons. Mason bees are outstanding pollinators & super fun to observe. They are solitary bees that nest in holes– paper reeds, bamboo tubes, wood blocks with holes drilled in them, or nesting trays like the ones below.
The advantage of not using a wood block with drilled holes is that you can actually harvest the cocoons in the fall, refrigerate them, & then release them the following spring. Rather than just waiting to attract mason bees, you can help sustain their population. All you need is a mud source for their nesting holes.
This fancy mason bee motel came from beediverse, and has a cocoon release penthouse!
Mason bees are gentle & shy, & seem almost curious about humans. The females would generally fly away to get on with their gal-business, and the little cute-face guys just wanted to hang out on me. And poop.
Girl coming in for a landing:
And the occasional curious interloper… Wrong home honeybee.
(I am sad to report that the spiders moved in last fall & evicted the bees. Alas, no cocoons to harvest, just alot of webs.. but Mason Bee Motor Lodge will be up & running again next spring!)