Friday, March 9, 2012

Mason bee bungalow

Earlier this week when I had to be out of the house for the inspection, I went to the Backyard Bird Shop to fulfill the final requirement of my Backyard Bird Habitat certification: habitat for another native species. The coordinator had recommended I add mason bees. They are not combative and help with pollination. They don't require a hive in the traditional sense. She said I could go to the BYBS and buy a house for them and a box of bees. It seemed easy enough.
I selected a small bungalow and a box of 10 bees, 5 male, 5 female. They are hibernating cocoons so I needed to place them in the refrigerator once home. The shop keeper warned me against forgetting them in my purse lest I here a buzzing sound emanating from it. Ha! Can you imagine?!
Then I needed to pick a spot that was protected, received early morning sunshine. I considered the front yard where there are more flowers, this is also the areas where the coordinator recommended I place it. However the bungalow was too big to fit next to the stair railing where she suggested. I decided the back yard made more sense since that is the area with all the natives. Plus I could mount it high up on the fence so it would be sure to not interfere with the new owners and their guests who may want to hang out on the deck. I'd been monitoring how the sun hits the fence posts for a few days to select the right spot.
I got out my drill and bits for possibly the last home project in the Laburnum Bungalow. ::sniff:: My Little Helper was very excited to hand up each tool to me while I was at the top of the ladder. He really felt it out to be painted first and suggested a black and yellow paint scheme. What a creative boy!
First I mounted the Bee Bungalow to the top of the post.
The next step was attaching the cardboard box with the hibernating bees underneath.
 I was told to afix it temporarily with a rubberband and open one end. The bees will come out of hibernation and exit the box and look for a new home. Hopefully they'll choose the bungalow. The timing works out really well, from everything I've read it seems they come out of hibernation in mid March and April.

You can't really see the bee cocoons in there, but they looked a lot like potato bugs. 
I've finally got some new growth on one of the Mock oranges I planted in the fall.  I'm a little sad that I wouldn't get to see how well these ill in this year (or the future for that matter.)  
It was such a nice sunny day that the boys and I played outside for awhile.   It's not often I'm warm enough for snacks on the porch in early March!  
My Little Helper alternates between not wanting his picture taken and wanting me to take lots of pictures of him. Today was one of the latter!  "Take another picture of me!"
Baby Boy doesn't mind me taking photos, but he's so interested in the camera that I don't get many good shots before he's suddenly in my face and trying to grab it out of my hands.

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