For my birthday last weekend I was gifted a masonbees.co.uk Guardian Scheme for red mason bees. My gift consisted of a bee lodge, nesting tubes and a release box for use next spring. Although it may be the end of the red mason bees nesting season; today I put up the bee lodge ready for any other solitary bees who might like to nest over the coming months.
With the guardian scheme, next spring I will be receive some red mason bee cocoons. All I need to do is put up the release box, add the cocoons and monitor them to see when they hatch and fly away. The males will hatch about a week before the females but it could all take about a month depending on the weather of course! The bee lodge is to be located near the release box so they have somewhere to nest.
All I have to do now is insure I have plenty of flowers in bloom for when they emerge 🙂 If anyone has any suggestions of flowers that are heavy with pollen I’d love to know (I don’t have space for fruit trees but I will be able to supply them with dandelions and buttercups).
Hopefully next summer I will have a garden full of red mason bees and lots of capped tubes!
I like that I will be able to care for and release some of our endangered solitary bees, it is also a responsibility but I think it is one that we should all try and do if we have the resources to do so. They need all the bee-friendly gardens they can find 🙂