Thanks to the generosity of the Justina Block and the Osmia Bee Company, Bernheim now has houses designed for this industrious little pollinator, the Blue Orchard Mason bee. One can be found near the front of the Education Center; the other in the Edible Garden near the smaller water garden.
What to Observe and Questions to Ponder at Bernheim: The Virtual Discovery Station presented by Tammy Clements provides excellent guidelines on what to observe when investigating these bee shelters. Can you locate tubes in these bee shelters that the bees capped over with mud? Does the cap appear rough or smooth? Do you see any evidence of trouble such as wasp hanging around? Do you wonder what those wasp have in mind?
At Home activities: Install a shelter for mason bees or leave dried stalks for bees to raise their young. Plant flowers rich in pollen for the bees, provide a source for water, and leave some exposed soil in your garden so that the bees can create mud they need to cap their nesting tubes.