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Mason Bees
May 08, 2017

A rather cool and damp week around here, at least for much of last week it was one or the other.

Do you notice how weather can dominate a conversation?

When all else fails, I can always start a newsletter on the weather.

I knew the robins eggs were close to hatch time.

I watched mom fly off the nest, walked across the street and peeked in.

Three baby robins and one egg just starting to hatch.

It isn't often a person gets to see an egg starting to hatch.

I left things alone so the parents wouldn't get all excited.

Still no Orioles or Hummingbirds.

Orioles are late (if they show at all this year), Hummers should be spotted this week.

Do you recall that I mentioned a fox family last week (maybe the week before)?

Well, the pictures aren't the greatest, but I have some of Dad, mom, and babies.

The watchful and protective parents, and to see the kits play always brings a smile.

Karen and Yolanda are doing well.

The fur kids ....... they're being fur kids.

I'm still waiting for warmer weather, and hoping my sore back (pinched Sciatic nerves) can heal in time for outdoor work and fun.

Move just so and the pain stops me right where I stand, and sometimes almost knocks me over.

(Daddy Fox)

(My Mason Bee House.)

I so enjoy nature, even if it is simply watching bees do their thing.

A couple years ago, Karen got me this Mason bee house.

Last year activity was sparse, but this year there is much more action.

I can stand right by it and have the busy bees fly in and out as they lay eggs and prepare each cell for next years bees.

Mason Bees, (also called Orchard bees, or Orchard Mason Bees), are among the easiest to raise, while also being gentle and amazing pollinators.

By raising solitary Mason bees, you can increase their population, and pollination in and around your yard.

It is believed that a single Mason bee can do the work of 120 honeybees.

More Orchard bees, more fruits and vegetables.

It Goes Something Like This:

(Mamma Fox)

The Mason bee is a very productive pollinator for spring flowers, fruits, and nuts.

The female carries pollen on the underside of her hairy abdomen, and then scrapes the pollen off within her nesting hole.

Now pay attention to this part...........

Because the pollen is carried dry on her hair, it falls off easily as she moves among flowers.

This results in significantly more pollinated flowers than the Honeybee, who wets the pollen and sticks it to her legs during transport to the hive.

The Mason Bee, who efficiently gathers pollen and nectar on the same visit, is also an awesome cross-pollinator.

She busily flits back and forth between branches or trees, instead of focusing on stripping pollen and nectar from one source.

Variety makes any job more interesting, and makes for a strong gene pool.

(Fox Kits/pups, there are three of them, the third one dashed off and you can see a tan spot on the left, in the bushes.)

Of the 140 plus species of North American Mason Bees, all Bees are solitary.

Meaning each female is a queen who does all of the chores.

She will gather pollen/nectar, lay eggs, gather mud.

She can't defend her hole, however while doing all of this other stuff.

In part, this is why the Mason Bee is extremely gentle and allows you to get inches from her nesting hole without fear of being stung.

They are simply too busy to waste time and energy on being aggressive.

Observing Orchard bees is entertaining and educational.

These native bees deserve a place in your yard and gardens.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me".

Erma Bombeck

She was someone special, wasn't she?

God gives each of us special gifts and talents.

It is up to you to use them and use them well.

God's gift to you and me.

Think about your special abilities.

"In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well".

Romans 12: 6-8

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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