Mason Bee or Mason Wasp- Pison spinolae
A familiar sound in Summer, is the high pitched buzzing of a female Mason Bee.
The female makes the cell, then collects spiders, which she paralyses , buzzing away happily while she works. Once the cell is packed with food supplies, she lays an egg & seals it shut. The egg hatches & the larva feeds on the preserved spiders. It’s a bit grim! Often we find empty cells with a hollow brown cocoon, which is all that’s left when the next generation emerge & fly away.
The Mason Bee itself is quite demur, a small black insect, maybe 10 to 15mm in length. They are native to New Zealand. The high buzzing sound is often the first indication that you have a Mason Bees
close by. , Providing a Solitary Bee House will hepl encourage them in the garden. A lot of people get their houses sprayed to kill spiders & other critters, & this probably makes the Mason Bee a less common visitor than it used to be!
These cocoons are of the native mason wasp Pison spinolae, sometimes the insect is referred to as the mason bee,
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