Mason Bee Life cycle

As I demonstrated yesterday, mama mason bee is a very hard worker, and the fruit of her hard work will not show its face until the following spring!

Once the cells with eggs inside have all been capped, the eggs are likely to hatch within a few days.  Once they have hatched, they are referred to as larva, and remain inside the cell.  The larva feeds on the nectar and pollen provision for up to 10 days, which promotes growth of this young mason larva.  When the provision has been consumed, the mason larva will spin a cocoon around itself. Inside the cocoon the mason bee pupates into an adult.  This metamorphosis occurs through the fall, and then the adult bee rests inside the cocoon through the winter until spring.

When spring has arrived once again, the adult mason bees will begin to emerge and begin the cycle all over again. Mother mason bee has arranged all her young into an order inside the nest; males in the front and females in the back. This makes it more favorable for the males to mate with the emerging females. Males will wait very patiently at the nest for a female to emerge, and then mate, and die shortly thereafter.

Below is a chart displaying the timing in a way we can all appreciate.