Nature's Place

Nesting the Mask

Is that a sensible title? A little cryptic maybe, it does refer somewhat to the bee and its activity.

It’s called a masked bee, probably for the appearance of it with the bright yellow patches, about 15mm long. And she is nesting.

I first saw her a few days ago on the Passion Flower plant, busy blowing a bubble that looks like it contains pollen grains, got a few shots and she was away. Then I saw her at the rose that I had recently pruned, she was digging out the exposed pith at the centre of the stems. She made some impression on around ten stems and excavated a few extensively, deeply.

Then it rained and she disappeared, when it stopped she came back, a day or so later. Then it rained again and she was flooded out, she had been occupying one stem and had entered head first, from top down. I rigged a roof for her but it was too late, she was discouraged from the location it seems, as she hasn’t been back for a while now.

However, she reminded me to use the stems of the Chia plants that had run their course, grown tall, flowered, gone to seed and had more or less dried out standing in the garden. I cut them down, spreading the seed that remained, and cut them to lengths, bundled them and placed them around the garden.

They have openings at each end that very small creatures can use for shelter and nesting and when it warms up again, soon, I’ll see how that has worked. I will do the same with some wild bamboo I collected last year, for the larger creatures such as the native bees that visit the garden and sometimes find a nesting site, as one Leafcutter bee did in a rag left rolled up on the table.

This nature of ours takes what opportunity presents, according to its instinctive need, and moves on when it wears out, or is washed out. It’s all a matter of timing, but instinctual, without conscious calculation.

Nature has no use for a watch, though it helps to be able to read the weather – inside and out.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab – best viewed in FireFox, as I do.