Last week my family ventured to Las Vegas, NV to visit my husband’s family, and we made an exciting discovery!
This is a Crown Bees house paired with leafcutter trays. David’s parents, Don and Sharon, purchased these from The Bees Waggle roughly six months ago. The house was positioned on a south facing post near many flowers.
When we arrived to Las Vegas, Don expressed concern, saying the bees hadn’t nested in their bee house yet. When we investigated we found this lovely surprise! Two rows of holes filled with leafy egg cells! Local leafcutter bees had deemed this nesting site worthy! It must have happened within the past few weeks. This just goes to show you that patience is the key; solitary bees nest in their own time. The success wasn’t just the presence of a bee house, but key components for every good habitat: food, water and shelter.
Don is a master gardener, and has worked very hard to achieve a landscape native to Las Vegas, thus requiring minimal water provisions, but that does not mean minimal flowers! As you can see, there is a rainbow of colors in his yard, and this is the reason for the presence of bees! Don has shelter and food for bees in his yard. Two key components of any successful habitat! In addition to food and shelter, Don has places in the yard where bees can drink water. This was amidst rocks or in soil where drip lines had just finished watering nearby plants.
Due to the complete habitat in his yard, leafcutter bees were not the only bees present in Don’s garden! I came across the presence of another successful nesting site of solitary bees. These could be carpenter or mason; it was difficult to discern the material used to cap these nesting holes, but a success none the less! Next spring he will have an army of solitary pollinators!
The final, and most rewarding evidence of successful Don’s successful bee habitat was the melon plant in his front yard! I watched and witnessed honeybees foraging on the flowers of the melon plant, and because of that foraging Don has so many melons he can’t consume all of the bounty coming off of that plant! The local bees are responsible for the pollination required to produce those melons from flowers; humans could never match that efficiency. Maybe he would profit from setting up a melon stand at a local farmer’s market! Bees look for flowers in a very barren landscape, and Don has done a fantastic job providing food, water, and shelter, for bees in Las Vegas. And, in return, he has a bounty of melons and blooms to enjoy!
We applaud your success Don! For those of you living in Las Vegas, and interested in planting native plants here is a link to a great list.
Thank you to all of our followers for joining this very important movement to save all of our bees! If you are interested in setting up a shelter for bees follow this link and we can get you started!