Mason Bees in the Fall

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



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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Painted Lady Caterpillars

Monday June 21
… Butterfly Freedom Day!

The best part of all was RELEASING our butterflies!  It was a little sad to see them go, but we felt so happy so see them flying free.


… Butterfly Pavilion experience

We got to go INTO THE TENT two at a time! It was SO exciting! When you lick your finger, you can get a butterfly to sit on it. You can even see the little proboscis unroll as they taste the sugars in your saliva.



… Butterfly Pavilion in the library

When most of our butterflies had hatched, we moved them into our “Butterfly Pavilion” tent.  They really enjoyed the sunshine coming through the library windows!


Monday June 14
… our first butterfly!

We were excited to come into school to see that one butterfly had hatched.  By the end of the day, several more had hatched!  The next day we even got to see one coming out!

Closed wings make good camouflage.

Closed wings make good camouflage.



Friday June 4

… our first pupa!

Those little caterpillars ate and ate and ate! We watched them making “J shapes” and wondered when the magic would happen.

On Friday after school, Mrs. B. saw the first pupa… by Monday there were half a dozen pupae!

Our first pupa!

Our first pupa!