My name is Dr Margriet Dogterom and am the founder and owner of Beediverse. I write this blog for all who love bees and who want to learn more about these wonderful creatures.

Margriet

Mason Bee cocoon humidity cooler

Mason Bee cocoon humidity cooler. Pads for water one one side and a place for the cocoons on the other side of the divide.

Besides simply setting cocoons outside in a predator proof box of some kind, cocoons can also be stored in the fridge.  Cocoons can be kept dormant until just before bloom.  It ensures that bees emerge when flowers are in bloom.  This method is most easily done in a humidity cooler.  The double compartment is for water on one side and cleaned cocoons on the other side.  Fridge temperature is set for 2-4C .  Water creates humidity ensuring that cocoons dont dry out and kill the bee inside the cocoon.

b0f9cd19-0bc2-4b94-abf8-95808dab0ef9Harmen K. from the Netherlands writes:  This configuration appears to be the most economical to make the ”hotels”. It is made of one six feet long 1×6 and 4feet of 1/4 inch threaded rod. The four end pieces are cut from a piece of firewood. The little box is what the cocoons are kept in in a refrigerator and go six into a larger box. The cocoons have survived quite well this way.

This is a common question at cleaning and harvesting workshops.  The question is what to do with the cocoons, after cleaning the cocoons.

The simplest storing method is to set cocoons out in the winter and let the bees emerge naturally.  The main thing to keep in mind is that cocoons need protection from predators such as mice and squirrels and the weather until emergence in spring.  In nature, when cocoons overwinter in wood, they simply emerge in the spring, but they are susceptible to being eaten by woodpeckers.    Thus, like in nature, the simplest method of storing cocoons is to place cocoons into a structure that will prevent rodents from eating the cocoons.  The hatching hut is one such structure.  Well made and it can easily be set out during the winter months, and still be able to emerge in the early spring.

Harmen K.  from the Netherlands sent me his pictures of boxes within a box for storing and releasing his bees.

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This is the box the cocoons go into in November to be deployed in spring. Harmen K. (from Vlieland Netherlands)

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The box inside measurement has to be roomy enough to take one of the smaller boxes out. The hole to let the bee out is kept tightly against one side of the box.  H. K.

joes-cocoons

What do I do with my washed cocoons?

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They lift or slide of. There is a small dado so the lid will not slide off the box.  H. K.

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A simple wooden structure –Beediverse Hatching Hut-with hatching holes can store cocoons right through the winter until spring.

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Using panels to get a head start with gardening.-Harmen K.

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“This is my greenhouse, made up of panels that could be deployed in other configurations to “get the jump”on the season.”  Harmen K.

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Italian parsley. A delight for a mid-winter salad

Mason bees help by pollinating flowers and an abundant seed crop was the result.  Fresh veggies for our morning green drink!!

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Young kale plants seeded from last years’ plants and pollinated by mason bees.

A BC winter garden including various herbs.

Herbs are a wonderful addition to any garden and these plants provide both nectar and pollen to bees.

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