We got this off Amazon. The holes were not filled!
What filled it?
By - puppard
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It's a bee house and bees filled the holes.
How does the bee eat and do bees drink water?
It’s not for honey bees, it’s for [mason](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_bee) bees, a native and solitary pollinator. Those are the nests where the larvae are hibernating and will hatch as adults in the spring.
Why dont we all have them to save the bee's? If they are gone we are gone, no?
Well, it’s more important to grow the flowers and forage that they eat than to provide them a shelter like this. They’re pretty good at finding places to call home, but if there’s no food it doesn’t matter how many houses we have.
We have flowers here for them 6 stories high!
Hey, Biologist here!
It's so wonderful to see your bee hotel 🐝-ing used!
Yes, there are many species of bees that can be local and important to the ecosystem and native plants!
It's so wonderful to hear that you have wildflowers planted already! An important step that I learned in my studies was that having a variety of plants that flower at different times will give bees plenty of variety in their diets, not just a bunch of flowers during the spring time.
Thank you and have fun!
Awe thank you! It's really all my roommates work he's done this for a few years. He has set up a really little beautiful area for them and the flowers are still blooming and growing and it's amazing.
I just seedbombed my lot with wildflower seeds for next year. Hoping some of it grows and keeps returning!
I hope they gave you proper native ones. A lot of those wildflower mixes have things that aren't native in them for some reason, which I feel like should be dealt with as misleading advertising.
Nothing that I immediately spotted that wasn't something I've seen around in the wilds!
what plants will flower in December and January?
What region are you in?
And are there a particular endangered species in your area that could use habitat restored or replanted?
nice try, unidan
you're still here after all these years!?
I wanna see those!
I thought people might! Look at my profile pic!
You should make a post for them! 😊 the profile pic is so small
Ok but wont it be a different category? Lol
Did you see the new residents? Higher level means higher rent!
My housemate not me. Is that what you mean?
There are many many bee species mason bees are not one that are at high risk of extinction
Love this fact
There are some crazy ones too, like the Blue Orchard Bee(which is a type of mason bee) Wallace’s Bee (the worlds largest bee) and the Vulture bee (a bee that makes honey from flesh) are some of my favorites
Why is it called the Blue Orchard?
Well it’s a vibrant blue bee and I’m assuming they like to hang out around an pollinate orchards but idk I just think they look cool
lol sorry that people are downvoting interesting questions. they suck
Makes me wonder about them lol. Bee haters? Flat earthers?
they're the "WELL ACKSHUALLY" crowd lol
It is claim that these attract as much harmful insects and predators as bees, eventually out competing and wiping out the bees. I never saw a study, just rando web articles.
These bee houses are a great way to spread disease among pollinator populations AND to harm population numbers. Living in such close quarters can spread disease among the species of bees. Additionally, if and when predatory animals such as birds find the bee hotel, it’s over for the whole lot.
Edit to add:
The best way to support native bee populations is to plant native wildflowers AND to leave flower stems as they are when they turn brown and die. Many hollow stems are where bees nest during cold seasons!
Bee hotels are way to signal to humans that the dead vegetation has a function more than anything else - by putting it into a box and a concept.
That being said, better lots of small ones than one big one, indeed. And wildflowers, everywhere.
Debbie downer is here folks.
They weren't being negative, they were just sharing useful information.
I found it pretty interesting. It's helpful to know where the pitfalls are if you're trying to do good.
Pittfall was my favorite game
I would imagine this set up is doing more good than harm. I want to see if they fill the big holes! I guess the top left is for butterflies. We even have a cricket now!
Based on your entire post and all of your questions, I would suggest you listen to the person who sounds infinitely more knowledgeable on the subject, however you're going to do what you want to do. Congratulations on your cricket. Best of luck with the bee hotel.
Debbie, are there any good benefits from it?
We take EBT
The mother mason bee leaves a provision of pollen and nectar for each of her offspring. So when they hatch out they have food waiting for them. The offspring stay in the tubes as they eat and grow from larvae into adults. They spend the winter in their tubes and then finally emerge in the springtime. Mason bees are wonderful little pollinators to have around! They can sting but they are not very aggressive at all (you would really have to be bothering them for them to sting). And yes, bees do drink water.
Does she come back and check on them? Where does she go?
No. She will die over winter and never see her adult offapring.
Brutal fact. It is amazing she knows to do this.
Do any of them live through the winter?
Only the offspring. All the adults die off. Once they emerge from their cocoons, mason bees only live 20-30 days ish.
Love this. Thank you.
This video on YouTube goes over how honey bees eat and drink water: https://youtu.be/WdU6RTmsgVY?si=9hlq_aGwxvhRMBuD
These are not honey bees.
In that little tube? Ok I'll watch
That does not explain what's inside the tube.
They lay their eggs in the tube and fill it with food before sealing it, the baby will hatch and eat it’s way out
Omg it how we say no way here. No sir .. like No sa.
Love how dude just deletes his comments.
Here is a [video](https://youtu.be/oPbH1YhsdP8?si=D1Oo1W1SGlc6a1Zp) by PBS Deep Look of how Blue Orchard Bee mother builds her tube nest. Different species, but same idea. It also shows how she leaves meals for the larvae, whose eggs are laid on the pollen and nectar bundles, how the larvae feed on it over time, spin their cocoons, and then hatch into adult bees. With solitary bees like Mason Bees and Blue Orchard Bees, their broods are significantly smaller than Honeybees. While they’re great pollinators, each female lays 1-2 eggs a day over the span of a month (roughly) before their death, compared to the over 500 a day of Honeybees. Hope this helps!
So it is the same bee! I thought she looked familiar!
They’re pretty neat bug bros! It’s cool cause hundreds of females can pollinate as much as thousands of Honeybees, but they just have different methods of familial operation. The tube nests make it easy to transport broods to farmers, so they are helpful in keeping our crops going, they’re just not as plentiful as Honeybees. It’s sort of like a quality over quantity scenario, but in this case both are just as important to their ecosystems!
A lot of people are afraid of bugs. They do creep me out a bit I will admit
I personally love them and have taught my daughter (whom is 6) to not be afraid of them. They’re great for the planet and work hard in the background of day to day life. Granted, if there’s a bug in my house that doesn’t belong there (not including pests, those get the banhammer), I’ll safely catch them and relocate them outside.
When I was younger I would just squash them but now catch and release. I think I did it out of fear mainly. The food chain is important, but insects belong outside for our health.
Edit: I see your housemate bought it. Enjoy your new bee hotel!
I wrote it wrong too He bought it a few years ago and just now are they using it!
That probably means the flowers in your vicinity are doing their job if supporting bee populations. Bravo!
The rates are going up daily!
Could also be wasps.
Not sure why this got downvoted. There are plenty of tube-nesting wasps that seal their nest cells with clay/mud and that wouldn't mind moving into a bee hotel, for example Trypoxylon.
Yeah the bee hotel I have is used almost exclusively by multiple species of mason wasps, cool lil guys & great for our garden
Do they fill the tubes and seal them?
Yeah, the mason wasps have a similar process to the bees but instead of creating a mass of pollen and nectar for their young to eat they hunt down small caterpillars. They don’t kill the caterpillars because they’d begin to rot, instead they paralyze them with their venom and just stuff a bunch of em in there with the egg before sealing it up. Mud daubers do the same thing but prey upon small spiders instead (as well as building the entire nest out of mud rather than finding a suitable one)
So what would use the big tubes above?
Those are nasty critters.
The solitary wasps are quite chill in my experience, I get up close to them often & they’re either indifferent or spooked by me, I’ve even been able to hold them a few times & never got stung (although I wouldn’t advise doing that because they’re still capable of it.) They live on their own instead of in hives with other wasps so they’re a lot less willing to attack without that backup. They’re pollinators too and they drink nectar from flowers, they hunt caterpillars for their young so that’s helpful if you have a garden. They may look scary but thankfully they’re not gonna come after you ^^
Oh I totally agree. Those guys are chill. I do admire them and they don't ever bother me. There's a diner in Watertown that all the bees know about and they go to get the honey from everybody eating breakfast. Don't tell anyone.
I'm a teacher, and every year we go on a field trip where they give us a similar thing mounted on a post. I call it the bee-hole stick.
Do bees have ears?
Hah I've kept them for every summer the last four years so I know exactly what I'm looking at haha
If you're interested, check out rentmasonbees.com 👍
Have you ever seen any butterflies use the corner?
i don't have a bee block with the little roof, just a squared off wooden block with rows of holes, so i'm not sure. but i do know that if your bee block is housed in a space with extra room, birds are very likely to try to build a nest in it, so one has to stuff newspaper, or branches in the empty space around it.
Guess what??? A big hole got filled now!
[What filled this hole part 2? A big tube is filled now too! ](https://reddit.com/r/whatsthisbug/s/S77IwQB79Y)
hm your link just takes me back to the comment section, but that's great news! they're enjoying the home you've given them. thanks for supporting the bee population 🐝
See it now?
Nope sorry. Good luck with the bees
I’m curious what you bought that for if this seems like a surprise. This is a bee/pollinator house for insects to live in and this is what they do! Some will use mud to block the tubes to protect their eggs inside as they grow.
My housemate got it. I was curious. Very cool!
Why would they put mud in there? To prevent the bee's from using it?
The bees put it there to protect their eggs/larva!
Is it wax?
Nope! It’s dirt and bee spit. There may be some waxy component to it but it’s mostly just dirt. These aren’t honey bees. These are mason bees or some other kind of solitary bee. They don’t live in communal hives and they don’t make honey.
Thats what I thought. The wax didnt make sense but that is why I asked. Do we have video of them spitting in their hands and making dirt balls?
I can’t find a good up-close video demonstrating the bees doing this as a lot of the search results are for building the bee houses, [I do have a video of a mason wasp doing this though](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dVmz8gT7VWk) and I imagine it’s a similar process. You can see her hold the dirt between her front legs and shape it with her mouthparts!
So they basically drink like that one husky at the park at the water bowl that just stomps it down with its paws?
Maybe I'll try to hook up a micro cam in a tube.
They’re vigilant in cleaning out unwanted debris from their tubes so they’d probably try to remove it haha, I found an image of mason bees [having built inside of some clear tubes](https://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk/33059-bee-box) where you can see the inner structure, as well as [this infographic](https://fff.hort.purdue.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mason-bee-life-cycle-diagram.jpg) (and with mason wasps it’s the same structure but instead of pollen it’s a bunch of caterpillars)
Lies .. lol . Jk they just sit in the water and absorb it. Don't they use their antennas as straws or something?
Nah the antennae are just sensory receptors and act as their sense of smell, they drink using a strawlike mouthpart called a proboscis, a lot of people recognize it from butterflies bc they have very long & prominent ones
So who had the straw first the bees or us?
>Some will use mud to block the tubes to protect their eggs inside as they grow.
Dude, that's impressive. I can barely remember to brush my teeth some days.
Well it is a sign to other bees that the hole is in use but mostly it's to stop other animals just eating the pretty defenceless young.
All you have to do is google "mason bees" to learn about how they operate.
Do the bees create the holes?
Not these. In the wild, carpenter bees make their own holes but mason bees, leaf cutter bees, and a lot of other solitary bees and wasps find existing holes made by other animals or naturally occurring ones like hollow stems.
Do they ever use bamboo?
They do! Bamboo isn’t native but we have other species of native grasses they’ll use. River cane is a more common native grass they can use.
In China they use the bamboo and scaffoldings for buildings.
No they were pre drilled. Carpenter bees make holes.
It was me. Sorry, I like to fuck with people like that.
I'm a mason bee, BTW.
Do you get all your pollen from flowers or do you have to go the store for some?
Lol. That's what the holes are for! Bee team doin the work
I still dont get how the eggs survive the winter.
Theyre hibernating in a tiny den (kind of)
You say hibernating Do they stop moving like literally?
I put out several hotels, and they have increased in use each year. I see several types of solitary bees using them, including leafcutters and masons. Lost very few to parasites or disease, none to birds that I can tell. My garden and orchard are well-pollinated.
It seems very zen. The whole process.
I’ve never had one of these. Do you need to clean the tubes out to help prevent disease?
Ideally, yes. Cleaned, parasites removed, stored for winter under refrigeration, placed back outside. Easier with blocks that come apart.
Location South Weymouth Massachusetts
Neat, I didn't know about mason bees before this post and I'm from the south shore. Good question!
Thank you! People are so quick to judge. I find it hilarious. Even my roommate who is very knowledgeable wasn't sure. I mean how cool is nature?? Love it!
My roomate asked if they are WB Mason bees?
They store things like pencils, rulers, and other office supplies into the tubes.
Haha I was thinking those graphite refills too.
So is it the same bee for all 3 holes?
That’s what she said.
Mason bees. They are solitary bees therefore they do not operate like honey bees. You can read more about them by googling "mason bees". Cyoot little buggers.
Do they get lonely? I wonder if they ever just stop and think about that?
Can I just say I love how curious you are OP? Both because it’s awesome to be curious about this, and because I’m curious too and you’re asking all the questions.
Thanks! I was told by a professor there's no such thing as a dumb question.
Mason bees. Cute little buggers. Great pollinators
I remember watching a video on Reddit a while back on various reasons why some bee homes like this are a bad idea but I haven't been able to find the post again.
I’m in San Diego, and I’ve never had bees use my bee hotel. I wonder why.
Did you plant flowers near by?
Yes, we have rosemary bushes that get covered in bees, you can hear them buzzing as soon as you set foot outside.
We have a new vistor. It might be the same one. She has been filling a large tube above now!
Probably carpenter bees
100 up votes but only at 19 lol. Bee haters.
You mean people can't stop curiosity though! Almost 200 now!
Reddit 2023 in a nutshell. 😝
This absolutely explains some posts in my past that haven't gone anywhere.
This is disgusting I have a phobia and Reddit keeps recommending me
A insect phobia? A wood phobia? A bug house phobia? Or is it the height?
at some point wood
Maybe mud daubers?
That seems to be the majority opinion.
I am curious why you installed a bee house if you didn't realize that bees were going to use it. What did you expect to happen with the bee house?
I just moved here. My roomate has had this up for a few years. He just noticed those 3 holes were filled up. So I'm asking. I should have worded it differently, my bad.
This is actually a house for a few different insects like butterflies, bees and others. The top left is for butterflies.
Oh I see. Well it's working! You got bees!
Yes it's really neat! I saw her working away. Wasn't sure what she was doing. I never saw her in the little tubes just the big ones above.
We also have a hummingbird that comes up. She flew around my head and checked me out.