Monday, April 28, 2008

Mason Bee Emergence

This sequence of photographs, shows the emergence of the Mason Bee Osmia rufa from the purpose made nesting box on the back of my garden shed. I had noticed that several of the mud filled holes had pieces missing from the centre of them, and also there were quite a few Mason Bees buzzing around them. On further investigation, I put my ear close to the holes, and sure enough I could hear a clicking sound coming from one of them. The centre bamboo cane in the picture above suddenly lost a piece of mud and at this point my heart started to race.

A pair of antennae can just be seen at the entrance to the hole.

Finally, the Bee emerges. At this point, the Bee did not fly off as some would have expected. It merely dropped to the ground in front of me.

On the ground is the newly emerged Mason Bee, which now has to wait for its wings to fully harden and expand before taking its maiden flight.