Bee Palace

Coexistence – a lesson from the bees..

August 2nd, 2014

We have had our beepalaces up in West Sussex since the Spring. It’s been fun watching the bees setting up home. The red mason bees were the first to arrive. They came in good numbers and there appeared to be some territorial disputes – it’s hard to tell one tube from another!

One tube would take about three days to be completed with the final mud plug – does that give some sort of satisfaction to the bee? It did for us! There was a period when the tree bumblebees dominated the garden and the red masons backed off. Activity resumed again and we have around 90 full tubes. Assuming there are 8 larvae in a tube and they are split equally between male and female then we should have at least 360 female red masons to help pollinate the garden next year. Assuming of the 360 just 25% take up continue nesting next year then we would expect to fill a few more beepalaces! We’ll let you know.

The leafcutter bees came later. The rounded gouges of rose leaf look huge as they wrestle to fit them in the nesting tubes. The acrobatics would leave Nadia Comaneci with a silver (possibly not Claudia Fragapane!). The delicate looking ribbed rose leaf pellet at the end of the tube is a wonder. Has anyone calculated the equivalent in human terms for the work that goes into this amazing exercise?

We leave you with a picture of a leafcutter setting up home alongside the red masons (such lovely neighbours!).

Beepalace leafcutter DG blog_180714_6511

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