This weekend I returned to the paper straws which contained my over-flow of cocoons (once the main box had been filled up). Curiosity is not always risk free, but it is compelling. I thought I would look through them by cutting the outer binding selotape and by gently unravelling the 34 sealed tubes my family and I had created a while back.
Some were completely empty as if a bee had just got confused, panicked or disturbed; the end was just sealed. Some cells seemed intact but the had larvae had just disappeared. Some were more promising. In fact in total, our last minute home-made brown paper straw/tubes had successfully encouraged the bees to create a further 38 cocoons. There was one tube that even had 6 solitary cocoons inside!
This was great news for me… Once I get to count the plastic tube bees, I anticipate that there’ll be possibly over a hundred bees for 2009 coming out of the artificial nesting habitats. There were at least another 15 females continuing to make nests between the bricks nearby. I think March/April 2009 will be a real spectatcle.
If I wanted to, next year could be the year I repair some of the crumbling mortar (the original reason why I started trying to move the population into nesting boxes). Next year I think it will be the challenge of spreading the population to other barns and buildings of the village – and possibly getting other people in the village involved.
Its 5°C or less in and around Paris right now, and seeing that it’s winter, I thought I would go off-blog for once and share a trailer I have just seen. The ending is rather warming.