When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir
Look what Jordanne spotted on the earth oven– a red mason bee! What a fascinating fuzzy little bee!
The Red Mason Bee is an excellent pollinator of fruit crops and a wide range of garden flowers. It has a number of advantages over the honeybee as a managed pollinator:
* It flies at temperatures below which the honeybee is grounded.
* At any given temperature, it visits more flowers per minute than the honeybee.
* On any given foraging trip, a female mason bee is more promiscuous in terms of the number of trees visited than the worker honeybee.
* Red Mason does not store honey in its nests: it is entirely pollen driven and uses nectar only as an energy source to satisfy immediate needs, so, unlike the honeybee, it always scrabbles around for pollen when it visits fruit blossoms.
* Red Mason is not as efficient as the honeybee in grooming itself, so when visiting flowers, is much more heavily dusted with pollen and so the chances of pollination are greater.
* Because its pollen collecting apparatus is situated on the underside of the abdomen rather than on the hind leg, there is a greater chance of pollen coming into direct contact with receptive stigmas of flowers.
Courtesy of http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/mason.htm
As caretakers of our little patch of earth, over the years we have noticed an increase in wildlife visiting our little Eden and helping combat bad insects and help with pollination. Are you turning your home into an urban homestead? If so have you noticed new wildlife visiting your garden? What new creatures or insects have you spotted this year?
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