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Friday, July 10, 2009

Bees bees and more bees !!!

Do you watch bees? I do. I don't like having them nest around my house, but sometimes that's okay to. We have Orchard Mason bees and 3 almost full bee houses of them. They're wonderful bees to watch. They will buzz all around you but will not sting, so you can just stand right next to their houses and watch what they do. They are only around from about March to the end of June. Their main function is to hatch out, pollinated everything in sight, gather pollen and bring it back to the bee house, off load it in the house, lay an egg and seal up a small space and repeat over and over.

If you live in an area that they are found, you might think they are blue bottle flies because they look very much like that. But, don't kill them thinking they're a fly. Here's a link to learn more about them. Bee Diverse is located here on the west coast of Canada, in the Vancouver area.   (the following pictures are not mine, I found them online for purposes of this post - Except for - the picture of the yellow jacket building the nest and the red hot pokers, those are my own pictures.)

mason_bee_red

masonbeepink

One type of been we've had tons of this year, are these guys. This particular nest was about 2" around, and about the 6th or 7th attempt to build. We keep finding them, knocking them down and they keep rebuilding. Sneaky to, you have to really pay attention because they will go into places that they figured out you don't go near every day. I pretty much had to hold the camera upside down under the eaves and just kept clicking because I couldn't dare to put my face under there for fear of being stung. So I just kept clicking until I got a decent picture. He was watching to....

Dsc05855 

We also have assorted friendly bees that we leave alone, like the honey bees. We have Hover Flies, which aren't flies, but tiny friendly bees that serve a good purpose in the garden. Tiny to, you hardly see them.

hoverflies

One thing we discovered is that we have a Bumblebee nest, or did have until the season has now ended for them to reproduce. I saw a bumble going into this bush of Red Hot Pokers  right at the ground level and thought....Hmmmm.

redhotpokers

So I poked at it and suddenly hear a very loud buzzing sound of what sounded like hundreds of bees.

bumble-bee

Best to walk away and leave them alone. We once had a bumble bee house on the post right there and I guess now they just continue to come back. I wouldn't be surprized if they've been there for a couple of years and I never noticed. I'll just pull the dry grassy bits out when I clean up and so glad that I didn't start doing that in the spring.The dry grass stays until winter clean up.  So if you see bees, (except the stinging kind) don't swat them away, they are good for your garden and will give your fruit trees a boost. We have to tie up our peach tree branches until the fruit is ready or they will break from so much fruit... ;o)

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