One confused homeowner went to Reddit for help when they discovered an unfamiliar insect nesting on their property in March.
Communities like r/whatsthisbug exist to help people identify the incredible creatures they stumble across in everyday life. By harnessing the power of a knowledgeable and widespread online community, not only can they satisfy visitors’ curiosity and warn them of any risks, but they can also help protect beneficial bugs. Learning about these bugs can reassure people that they’re harmless.
In this case, the bug in question was actually a whole nest. “We discovered this when we were tearing down our garden shed!” said the original poster, who later clarified they were in Germany. “Can anyone tell me what kind of insect this is?”
The photo showed a torn-away section of the hollow shed wall. Inside, a rough honeycomb-like structure contained dozens of small cells, each of which held a small, fuzzy creature. They were clearly some kind of larvae.
“Whatever it may be … you’re about to have a whole lot more of it,” one commenter joked.
Other users hurried to identify the insects. “Looks like a mason bee nest,” said one Redditor, sharing links to the Wikipedia page for the species and another photo of a nest. “Mama bee constructs mud ‘cells’ and fills them with pollen/nectar for her young to feed on.”
Another user clarified, “Mason bees are solitary bees that are important pollinators in their wild habitats. They aren’t aggressive and don’t sting.”
Because the bees are so helpful to the environment and because there was no danger to the original poster, the commenter recommended rescuing them from the shed before it was demolished. “If you’re able, carefully collect the cocoons (fuzzy bits in each cell) and place them somewhere outside protected from the rain. Mason bees will emerge from their cocoons when the outside temperature is consistently above [50 degrees Fahrenheit].”
“You can find mason bee houses online for a decent price,” added a third user.
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