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Monthly Archives: May 2012

After warm temperatures in early spring, quickly followed by a cold spell lasting a good two weeks,  the sun is finally out again.
Bees are busy foraging. Here are a few pictures of what I saw on Kale flowers.

In the past, people have asked me whether male mason bees forage and pollinate.  I presumed they do some feeding on nectar because they would need to be energized over the two  week period that they are around.  Males probably don’t do very much pollinating or moving pollen around from one flower to another because when they arrive at a flower- they do it without much movement over the flower.  Today I took picture of a male mason bee drinking nectar out of a flower.

Male mason bee getting energized by drinking some nectar.
Note long antennae and white hairs on front of face.
Native leafcutter bee feeding on pollen and nectar.  Note stripes on abdomen (Family Megachildae).

 

Another tiny bee (6 mm/1/4″ long) busy feeding on nectar and collecting pollen.

 

Spring here in Vancouver, BC, Canada was relatively warm in mid April. A lot of lot of flowers budded and bloomed.  Now, after about 2 weeks of chilling temperatures- with patches of sunshine, we are now in a warming trend.  My apple blossoms are finally coming out.  This particular apple tree is right next to the house.  Blossoms are fully open near the house.  Flowers away from the house are still in bud.  I will be checking on temperatures, inside and outside the yurt. 

Apple blossoms -pink stage



Apple blossoms- fully open and waiting for bees.
Leafcutter bee cocoons.  Different colored cocoons are made from  leaves and petals..
.
Leafcutter bee Highrise
 Leafcutter Highrise-availabe soon



Extra space in the attic for storing and emerging cocoons.



Emerging cocoons in cardboard box.
A predator  guard in front of the nest
 protects nests and bees
Nests and bee cocoons behind predator guard.
In the fall-Step one- lift nest block out of Highrise.
In the fall-Step 2- push cocoons out with wooden dowel (supplied) and store in attic under roof of Highrise.
Beautifull apple blossoms
Dwarf apples in full bloom
Cherry blossom- full bloom



Just think of all the cherries!



More nests and mason bee cocoons were placed into the yurt. 
Crabapple in foreground is no longer in bloom like it was in mid April.



Labelling cardboard boxes.
Labelled boxes ready for cocoons.

After washing cocoons they are air dried for about an hour.  Then, cocoons are candled to remove any parasitized cocoons.  Cocoons are stored in fridges until packaged, and then returned to fridges until sold.  Packages are first labelled.  Cocoons are then selected and carefully pushed into each box.  In a package of 10 there are 4 females and 6 males.
Filling boxes with cocoons. 

Boxed cocoons ready for sale.

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