Mason Bee?
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Thread: Mason Bee?

  1. #1
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    Default Mason Bee?

    I was in the garage this evening, and heard some buzzing.

    I found this little girl flying in and out of the hinge on the garage door.

    I thought Mason Bees were smaller.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    They are smaller. That doesn't look like any variety of mason bee that I've ever seen. Looks more like a hornet. European hornet, maybe?
    Is there any mud being packed in the hinge?

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    I was in the garage this evening, and heard some buzzing.

    I found this little girl flying in and out of the hinge on the garage door.

    I thought Mason Bees were smaller.
    I've kept Japanese Hornfaced bees for years, and I've seen the blue orchard mason bees. They are smaller and the hornfaced are definitely fuzzier. I think that's something in the wasp family. The hole is too large for the types of mason bees I'm familiar with. Though the picture says wasp to me, it could be a kind of bee (say leaf-cutter) that I haven't noticed before.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    They are smaller. That doesn't look like any variety of mason bee that I've ever seen. Looks more like a hornet. European hornet, maybe?
    Is there any mud being packed in the hinge?
    Yes, it is packed with mud on one end. I took another look yesterday evening after shutting the garage door, and it looks like I've got three or four of my hinges being used. Looking down the inside the empty end of the tube, there is a mud plug, and then bright yellow pollen.

    There is this picture on Wikipedia:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._%28aka%29.jpg

    Those look like what I am seeing.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    I took this photo this morning, with the garage door down. You can see that the hole is just a little smaller than a U.S. penny.

    There is no pollen in the second photo. I think most of the hinges have a hive started, what ever the critter is.
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Definitely not the Blue orchard bee, or the California mason bee. They are about half the size of your critters. Your wiki photo looks like the red mason bee mason bee, and to the best of my knowledge, the reds are about the same size as those that I am familiar with.
    Not a leafcutter, either. They are about 1/3 the size of a honey bee.

    I am no entomologist, but I have some experience with mason bees.


    Your bugs don't look like anything I would like living in my home. Try sending some pics, and maybe a pinned sample to you local county ag extension office.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Well, if it's not looking like a bee, I'll see if I can catch/kill one and get a better photo.

    We've got a lot of paper wasps and mud daubers around the house, too. I'm trying to get as many of the wasps cleared out as possible before my bees arrive.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Mud daubers are cool. They eat the spiders in our garage (Oregon seems to be chock full of spiders of all kinds). We have paper wasps too, but I have traps out for them and/or they don't really bother the bees too much. Sometimes they snack on dead bees in front of the hive in the late season.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    They are smaller. That doesn't look like any variety of mason bee that I've ever seen. Looks more like a hornet. European hornet, maybe?
    Is there any mud being packed in the hinge?
    I got a better picture today. It might be a hornet, although from what I read, they live in community hives.

    2016 04 07 Hornet (8).jpg

    2016 04 07 Hornet (10).jpg

    2016 04 07 Hornet (11).jpg

    What you can't see in the last photo is the Daddy Longlegs spider that is being attacked.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    In the photo bee is not like Mason bees, look at the pictures here.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    I agree, that looks like something in the wasp/hornet family. We have some wasps that build mud tunnels. If you knock them down you find paralyzed spiders in them, fresh meat for the young of the wasps.

    I expect there's some fresh meat in that hinge as well. Masons would have a ball of pollen instead.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Mason Bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    I agree, that looks like something in the wasp/hornet family. We have some wasps that build mud tunnels. If you knock them down you find paralyzed spiders in them, fresh meat for the young of the wasps.

    I expect there's some fresh meat in that hinge as well. Masons would have a ball of pollen instead.
    Thanks Phoebee.

    I had already figured out it was a hornet. But I wasn't sure why it was hanging around the hinges. I hadn't seen anything before your post that suggested this was normal behavior.

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