Mason Bee or Mason Wasp? (Pison spinolae)

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. Mason wasp on oxide daisy 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 solitary bee house Creative Woodcraft  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, Mason Wasp - Bee brood cells 1