Native Pollinator Nesting Station, Mason Bees
Being developed in the uplands of Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is a pollinator garden. That means lots of flowering plants, and pollinators.
The pictured "house" is for Mason Bees, a semi-domesticated, native bee that lives to pollinate. They are a very small bee, about the size of a small fly. They lay their eggs in the holes you can see in the blocks. The female eggs are laid first followed by male eggs, with about 7 or so eggs per "tube." In the spring as the temperatures warm, the males develop in to flying bees and come out of the tubes, waiting for the females to come out. They mate and the males no longer have a use. The females pollinate flowers and lay eggs. They don't make any honey. The tubes are sealed and wait for the next year.
Orchard operators will either raise their own bees or buy them from a supplier each year. The bees are very efficient pollinators.