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Many mason bees out yet?
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John S
1020 Posts
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March 31, 2021 - 10:29 pm

I noticed that I have actually seen more honey bees out in my blossoms than mason bees this year.  Strange.  It's supposed to be the opposite.  In the last couple of days, I"ve seen a better balance.  I originally put my mason bee tubes facing to the East, as that is what I was advised to do.  However, now I am seeing a lot of people urging them to put the facing straight south.  I am wondering if my mason bees are waking up slowly because they aren't getting as much heat as if they were facing south.

Whaddya think?

JohN S
PDX OR

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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April 1, 2021 - 11:23 am

I have Mason bees in my window sills. They face south. Still have not emerged. Remember it is a La Nina year so our temps overall have been a bit cooler. And my guess is that maturity is temperature averaged. Honeybee on the other hand, are all ready to go and any time there is good weather they can pop out and pollinate. On a side note yesterday I saw my first bumblebee. Huge and hovering around looking for a nest. No doubt a queen.

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jafar
474 Posts
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April 1, 2021 - 1:01 pm

I see lots of flies, and maybe little bees and/or wasps on and around my plum blossoms.  No obvious honeybees or mason bees.  I didn't actively try to accommodate mason bees last year, but there should be some around.

If I step back from the tree and defocus, I can see a cloud of activity, when I try to focus on individuals it seems like there are maybe 6-10 different insect types visiting.

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Rooney
466 Posts
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April 1, 2021 - 4:12 pm

Mine get moved so even though mine started emerging it's probably a result of placing them away from recent cold nights and close by the house. The bees I see on plums have been everything but the honeybees in the last several days. 

My guess is that emergence is a decision and less a progression towards maturity. With the exception of social like insects such as honeybees mason bees are cold and emerge from dormancy, so I can't imagine development not being fully completed during the seasons ending period and during plant senescence. 

I look at it this way that Alaska has cold blooded pollinators, the moths, and solitary bees too but I figure there could be some form of low temperature estimation of when to wake up much the same as trees and other plants. 

Here's a link that might be interesting:

site:gi.alaska.edu "three consecutive days is 50 degrees"

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