Masonry Bees – The Red Mason Bee in Manchester

Most of us won’t be aware of Manchester masonry (or mortar) bees – as they are very similar looking to honey bees – albeit a bit smaller.
Unlike honeybees, Manchester masonry bees are not social and do not nest in colonies making typical bees nests. Instead, they use small holes in stonework – hence masonry – as their home, one beeper hole! They also use timber structures, holes in the ground, and even hollow twigs, too, preferring to use pre-existing holes, such as those made by other insects or irregularities in the structure.
Although the female can, these bees do not generally sting, this is rare, and the person would need to make direct contact with the stinger for it to happen.
Although they feed on nectar and pollen, these bees do not make beeswax or honey. However, they are still essential for our ecosystem and pollination. Red mason bees have been used in cherry and apple orchards trials, and the results show a marked improvement in the fruit.

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