Randy red mason male bees live a short but hectic life-video

May 21, 2014

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

Male mason bees

Male bees are smaller than the females and require less food and cell space. They are laid near the entrance of the cavity and in my garden they appear 10-15  days before the females, who remain safely inside the cavity a little longer, further towards the rear. The female, just before she lays an egg, if she wants a female to be produced, fertilises the egg from the sperm she has stored, from her mating. If she wants a male, she simply bypasses the sperm thereby laying an unfertilised egg which becomes a male. The males have a small but dense tuft of light coloured hair on the front of their heads, with females having much darker hairs on their much larger heads. Emerging earlier than the females gives them time to feed, fight in a ‘free for al’l near to nest cavities eagerly waiting to pounce upon the emerging virgin females. Sometimes I see them they the cocoon emergence box to check out the cocoons and pounce on a female as soon as she chews hear way out! Like all male bees, they have no sting so grapple with other males for the best vantage points and competition is fierce. Most of their time is spent flying from one nest box to another in their search for a female. This requires energy in the form of nectar, which they find in the fantastic Erysimum Bowles’s Mauve plants right next to the nest boxes in my garden.

Great for schools!

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington

For more information about solitary bees and wasps visit BWARS

For more bumblebee information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marian May 21, 2014 at 9:51 am

Brilliant George!! Lots of activity in my new bee box, and a bit of aggro when a new bee tries to enter an occupied chamber,great to watch!!

Marian

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nurturingnature May 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Glad you like your new solitary bee box Marian. It makes very interesting viewing watch bees fight over a cavity!! Cheers George

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