1st Red Mason female bee feeding 2016 on fructose video

April 23, 2016

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Red mason solitary bees, Solitary Bee Observation Box

Cold, chilled 1st Female Red Mason bee 2016

On 21st April, the weather here was unseasonably warm in my south facing sun trap garden. Early afternoon, I looked inside my orchard bee nest box.  and saw two Red Mason males (Osmia bicornis) had emerged and flown away, their empty cocoons testament to that. As early evening approached the temperature had dropped and it was rather chilly. Looking back inside the nest box, I found a small female inside.

50-50- water fructose mixture

50-50- water fructose mixture

Cold and weak

She kept beating her wings but could not fly. It was too cold. It was early evening and rather chilly. I placed her on several different known nectar plants but she kept falling off and onto the ground. She did not even attempt to feed from the flowers. She could walk but not fly. She did not even feed on the fructose water solution I made for her. I decided to leave her overnight in the safety of the emergence chamber.

Feeding and sunbathing time

About 10 the next morning, it was sunny but chilly. A single female had crawled out of the emergence chamber and was sitting on a shelf. I placed fructose mixture a short distance from her and she walked to it and fed, for quite some time. Afterwards, she sunbathed, then hid for a while and eventually she flew off. Later that afternoon I found one solitary female feeding on nectar from my fantastic and highly recommended Bowles’s Mauve.

Red mason female all by herself!

Red mason female all by herself!

Late afternoon I saw a sole female checking out my nest boxes and this morning 23rd found a single female inside one of the nest cavities. No sign of the males. No other cocoons were being chewed, it was a frosty night and we are supposed to be getting an Artic chill. Great, she needs that now! Hope she survives it! Was it all the same female? Probably, although I would like to think so as she accepted my offer of bed and breakfast!

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