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Fact of the Week: Red Mason Bees visit flowers to drink the nectar to give them energy. They do not use the nectar to make honey.
Why are flowers and trees important?
Female Red Mason Bees visit wild flowers to collect pollen and nectar and to sometimes build a nest in the dry hollow stems. When the female Red Mason bee awakes from hibernation she quickly needs to find nectar to drink and pollen to feed on to give her energy and add to her fat reserves. Bee friendly plants that flower in our school grounds and gardens in the spring and summer include dandelions, lavender, primroses, crocuses, daisies, ivy and fruit tree blossoms.
Which plants do Red Mason Bees pollinate?
From the end of March to July the Red Mason Bee will every day visit raspberry, plum, pear and apple crops to find nectar to drink. Resulting from these visits pollination will occur and the plants will be able to make seeds and reproduce. It is no surprise then that Fruit Growers and Apple Farmers are delighted to see Red Mason Bees in their fields, orchards and greenhouses in the summer months!
What can we all do to help our native Pollinators?
We can all play our part by planting more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen for our pollinators throughout the year. A small patch of land just 5 metres by 2 metres will support up to 20 Red Mason Bees. So come on everybody, let’s get busy this autumn digging and sowing seeds, so there is plenty of food around next summer in our school grounds for our pollinators to enjoy!
Wild meadow flowers (Top) Raspberry plant (Bottom)
Next report: Monday 14th May 2018
How to attract Red Mason Bees to your school grounds and gardens?