I was starting to feel like one of those high-end Minneapolis developers, thinking no one would live in my condos, but some insects have finally moved in. I just hope they are bees. Earlier this spring, I built a bee house for orchard mason bees.
Orchard mason bees are solitary, non-honey producing bees, that are gentle but effective pollinators. They are prized by orchard owners and other gardeners. I certainly don’t have an orchard, but we have a decent-sized bed of raspberries, a couple of apple trees, a cherry tree, and lots of flowers. So, why not provide housing for the guys (well, actually, they are all gals) who do the work pollinating. The houses are easy to make, but mine sat empty for a long time.
The other day, I noticed that three or four holes seemed to be plugged with grass. The web sites on mason bees describe them as plugging the holes with mud, so I’m not sure if these are mason bees or something else. While examining the house last night, I noticed a blue-black insect going into the house, and mason bees are described as blue. So, maybe that’s who has moved into the neighborhood. If so, welcome! If not, does anyone else know what kind of insect would nest in holes like these and plug them with grass?