I just noticed that there are bees living in holes in my vegetable patch. I didn't know that they did that. There seemed to be three of them coming and going from three different holes about 2 or 3 inches apart.
They do. can you get your veg in without disturbing them?
Yes the runner beans are actually in and they are living in holes round about them.
I put the beans in and then the poles, and in some places I shoved the poles in and then changed my mind and moved them over a bit. I think the bees are living in the holes that I took the bean poles back out of. It's great to see them there.
We also have solitary bees living in dowel holes in the underside of our wooden garden table. When we have guests round to eat the bees fly down between their knees carrying great big green leaf discs to use as a door to the holes. The guests look very suprised as the bees go in and out.
We had a bee house, but nothing ever nested in it. Clearly they like the natural approach.
Jennifer that really is lovely- although your guests must find it a little disconcerting! I renovated an area of my Dad's garden- a raised stone edged bed planted with firs and heathers-and when I took out the little conifer that was there I disturbed a bee's nest. It was very warm ,dry and sheltered so I presume it was a perfect location for them. Sadly they didn't survive which I was quite upset about.
Made the removal of the other plants a bit tricky too...
Gosh, I really had no idea that bees nested in the ground. I'll make some more holes and see what happens. This is actually my first proper veg bed as I've always been a flower gardener. I'm doing it really properly so I have lots of carefully weeded exposed soil, which I suppose is working out well for them. I must make sure to let them know before I water.
Mining bees, do exactly that. they dig out a chamber and lay an egg and raise one offspring in that chamber. We have hundreds of them in the garden and very welcome they are too, even i it does mean we have to hand weed the cobbled paths as they nest in between the cobbles.
Frequemtly asked question at this time of year is about the tiny mounds of soil people find in their lawns. Not worms as sometime suggested, but these mining bees.
Gosh that's a point. Not so much with the hoeing then. I've been dumping a bunch of compost on my veg patch to stop the annual weeds coming through (it was lawn in January and I stripped the turf off). I'll need to be a bit careful with the holes then. Will they mind if water goes down the hole? I suppose it must do that when it rains. My three year old was very interested to see them coming and going. He's a serious gardener now if he knows about mining bees.
Can I ask - are you all just roving experts who potter about answering people's questions for fun, or are some of you employed to do this?
Don't know about expert Jen...I'm certainly not! Lots of very knowledgeable people on here though, but I suppose a lot of it comes from experience.
Berghill- I'm amazed at the bees colonising the cobbles. Aren't they the most incredible little creatures - and I certainly never thought about the earth in lawns being bees.
I learn something new every day
Jennifer there are so many of us. Not much we don't know between us.
Good to know, thanks. I'm a botanist/plant scientist, so I know about that side of things, but not about bees. My borther has just started keeping bees though, so I have started noticing them a lot more.