Mason Bees in the Fall

We went on a Field Trip to the Inspiration Garden last week,
to learn about Mason Bees!

bee

 

We were sooooo lucky… it was a PERFECT Fall day, sunny skies and crisp, cool air!  There were three stations for us.  At one station we learned about the difference between Mason Bees and Honey Bees.  Mason Bees are solitary and Honey Bees are social.  Mason Bees almost never sting… in fact, the male bees CANNOT sting!  Some of us remembered that they drink nectar (for energy) and eat pollen (for protein).  Lots of us remembered that bees are insects and have 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen) and 6 legs.  We learned that Mason Bees can pollinate more flowers than Honey Bees because they DON’T have a “pollen basket” on their legs.  This means that they “dust” more pollen when they travel from flower to flower.

We got to meet Pasquale, who is our local BEE EXPERT.  Last year he had 8,000 Mason Bee cocoons!  He showed us what Mason Bee houses look like and he had some live Mason Bees to show us.  That’s pretty special because almost all Mason Bees are still in their cocoons in the Fall.  Pasquale opened a cocoon for us and we saw a REAL LIVE BEE come out!  Some of us even got to hold it!  Then he showed us the tiny pollen mites that are bad for Mason Bees.  We saw how he washed the cocoons to clean off the mites.  Amazing!

Our third station was a lot of fun!  They had an “Arts ‘n Crafts” table where we made “mini pumpkin bees” to take home!  The volunteers at the Inspiration Garden grew all the pumpkins themselves!  Wow!   We used Sharpies, black duct tape, construction paper, wax paper, sparkly pipe cleaners, and “googly eyes” to make the cutest bees ever!

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Thank you,
Inspiration Garden Volunteers!

We learned a LOT and had a LOT of FUN too!

 

What was YOUR favorite part
of learning about Mason Bees?

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6 thoughts on “Mason Bees in the Fall

  1. Hello, Marnie! Why don’t you come visit our Mason Bee house when we release the bees in Spring? That will give you a better idea of what it’s all about. 🙂 Mrs. Boekhout

  2. Brandon wants me to go out and buy a bee home now for our yard! I’m not so sure how I feel about that! I admit I’m still afraid!

  3. Hello, Izzy F, Do you know that WE have an “Izzy” in our class this year too? What a coincidence!
    Until a few years ago, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a Mason Bee either.
    I checked on the Internet and found that in North America, there are about 140 different mason bee species — with about 200 species worldwide. Oh my!
    Thank you for commenting on our website!
    🙂
    Mrs. Boekhout

  4. Dear Classroom 2

    I have never heard of Mason Bees before? Do they only have them in Canada? Since they are solitary, do they make honey in a nest by themselves? Or do they live with a few other bees?

    Sincerely Izzy F, Mr. Avery’s Class
    http://mravery.edublogs.org/

  5. Wow! What a great trip! I can’t believe my ears when Lorena told me she HOLD a mason bee in her hand. She used to scream if she saw bees coming her way!

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