Another Accommodation and Another Native Bee

In case you were wondering, I did put a new roof on the birdhouse I found with the bumblebee nest remnants inside. I used some of the abundant pieces of cedar left over from last summer’s deck renovation. I cleaned out the old mouse and bee nest material  installed the new roof similarly to the original, though this is thicker wood. Inside I made a sort of hollow nest using some wool.

Bumblehouse1

Stalking around the garden the best place I could find where I could easily keep an eye on it turned out to be a bed in the angle of the house and deck. I nestled it onto the ground and heaped up some leaves around it leaving the opening visible and inviting. Here I can check it as I come and go and, with any luck, notice if a bee goes in or out.

Bumblehouse2

When I placed it, which was actually a few weeks ago I had hoped that the nearby crocus would help entice a bumblebee to move in. It was only this weekend, however, when I spotted my first queen bumblebee of the season. She was visiting the Scilla that blanket the garden and that so many bees are going ga-ga over.

Native Bee

Speaking of which, I managed to snap a picture of another native bee resting on the back of a Helleborus bloom.  So many bees! Spring is truly, finally here.

Fun February Find

There was an exciting discovery in the back yard today.

Birdhouse

A couple of weeks ago I noticed something hanging on the back fence. It turned out to be a broken birdhouse packed full of mouse nest stuff. It’s not our birdhouse so I presume the previous neighbors found it and just hung it there.  I retrieved it intending to clean it out, put a new roof on it and hang it up somewhere this spring. Just now, as I started pulling out the nest I noticed what I thought were some discarded nut shells.

Coccoons

A closer look revealed something much more exciting. The birdhouse had become a beehouse. Those are old bumblebee cocoons!

Last year I put out an actual bumblebee house  hoping to attract a queen but didn’t have any luck. Now I’m wondering if this could be salvaged as a home attractive to bumblebees once again.

Nest Closeup

I’m going to consult with a couple of sources much more knowledgeable about such things on how to proceed. Having a  living bumblebee nest to observe in the yard would be the coolest.