Native Bees and Bee Houses
Thirteen years ago, when we first moved to Loudoun, I innocently picked up a little book. It was called The Orchard Mason Bee, by Brian Griffin.
I had just purchased (out of curiosity) these funny blocks of wood with holes drilled in them and nailed them to a tree at the end of our driveway. Why? Because that’s what the instructions said to do.
I was new to so many nature things but was like a sponge, trying this and that, wondering if nature would play along with the different “experiments” I was doing.
I was doing things like planting perennials (would they really return the next year?), selecting “butterfly plants” (would all these different species really find these plants?), digging a pond (are there frogs in our woods watching us dig? will they come check out this new water feature?), building bird houses (will these beautiful bluebirds like them?), making a rock pile for snakes (wondering, do we have snakes?).
Oh the list goes on….and it included setting up these (and other) bee boxes.
Well one night before dozing off, I was reading this little book on the Orchard Mason Bee and in it Brian Griffin wrote that the bees will go inside, lay an egg, add mud to create a cell, and fill up these holes. The adults would die, and next spring the young would emerge…
I was amazed and excited – I had never heard of such a thing! I jumped out of bed, grabbed a flashlight and ran out to the end of the driveway to look at these bee blocks.
(The photo here is of a bee set-up from this spring. You can see the holes all filled with mud. I got this set-up from Knox Cellars which is run by Brian Griffin and his family.)
So, why do I share this crazy story? Well we have an amazing treat for you!
On June 23rd, Denise Shreeve of Our Native Bees in McLean, VA will be doing a program for us!
Here are the details. I’m really excited for this! I hope you can join us. Another time, I’ll tell you about the adventures with bumble bees in our house that led to me building and setting up some “humble bumble homes”.
Native Bees and Bee Houses ― Saturday, June 23, 10:30am.
Bumble Bees, Orchard Mason Bees, Leafcutter Bees and others are excellent pollinators and welcome additions to any garden. Since they don’t sting, it’s fun to watch them build their nests! Join us for this program as Denise Shreeve, founder of Our Native Bees in McLean, VA, discusses the different species of native bees in Loudoun. She’ll discuss how and where they nest, their favorite plants, and how easy it is to entice them to your yard. Bee houses and nesting supplies will also be available for sale. Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Leesburg. The program will be in the Education Annex. Questions: contact Nicole Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org