Here they come!
Mason bees (Osmia nigrifrons) are emerging from hibernation.
Pictured atop their nest conglomeration, made of mud.
Male bees usually come out first. (This is a male).
Female bees come out a little later, because they are bigger and take longer to develop. This way, males are ready to mate with females immediately when they emerge. Females then waste no time getting down to nest building and laying eggs.
This mud nest chunk is a piece of a larger conglomeration I sampled from Red Butte Garden. The larger conglomeration is situated inside a bird box, where it has been for several years, co-existing with screech owls.
Most Osmia species we see in Salt Lake are metallic all over, either dark blue/black or brighter shades of blue or green. These Osmia are a little different. Looking forward to seeing a female emerge - I don't remember what they look like!