A question from Anne in the Kootenays (BC).
“ I was given your starting kit as a gift, and I am not clear if the cocoons
are to be removed from the nesting tubes for cleaning & where they should
be stored for a west Kootenay winter. “
Yes, it is always best to remove cocoons for cleaning. Unfurl or soak cardboard tubes. After an overnight soak in cold water the EZY-HARVEST cardboard tubes are easy to open for removing cocoons.
Store cocoons in fridge until late winter/early spring. Best to use a humidity chamber. This keeps cocoons moist at a humidity of about 60%. Later in the winter or after January, keep temperature between 2-4C.
Check out our website where there are more details on the humidity cooler.
1. With snow falling all around us, it is a good time to clean any nesting trays which have benn emptied of cocoons earlier in the fall/ Sept-October.
2. For me, today was a good day to clean out some Cocoon shelters. They are usually covered in bee feces.
2. If cocoons are stored inside a fridge, make sure your fridge has at least a 2- cup container of water on one of the shelves.
This is the first blog at its new home location.
Last week, my blog Beediverse was moved from Google blogspot to this Beediverse web site. This move is exciting to me because it makes it more my own. It also makes it easier for people to find us and adding blogs is easier if it is all under the same roof.
With summer holidays behind us, it is now time to add into this blog, a backlog of emails and ideas sent over the summer.
Interest is spreading into identification of other bee species and insects that are seen in the garden. People are sending great photos of these insects and we hope we can identify them. The photo on the right is a photo of a fly on Sedum spp.
In this photo of a fly, note the absence of antennae (bees have antennae and if you look closely at a bee, each antennae is made up of segments- less then 20).
One of the things that is on my to-do list is to categorize each of the old posts to make them more accessible. For example, if you are interested in seeing my blogs of my travels, then you can look under ‘travels’. The category ‘Old city of Dordrecht’ will be placed under ‘Travels. The only thing is that I have not been able to figure out how to remove a category…yet.
In July, I took all my nests down from various sites and have placed them inside net bags and under cover. I opened one of the nests, and cocoons are fully developed.
More recently I have been busy creating more video clips for a number of products, so that it is easy to see how the product works. When they are on the web site, I will place the links on this blog.
Have a great summer! Margriet
It July 8/12. Is it too early to put a cloth bag over mason bee boxes to keep out predators?
We are in Comox, Vancouver Island. – Margaret
It is the 3rd week of June and Osmia lignaria the early spring mason bees, and of course Osmia californica have stopped flying. They have left their offspring behind, and hopefully few parasites and predators will get to the developing larvae by next spring.
I have received a lot of interesting emails with photos that I want to share with you.
People are sending more detailed notes of their observations – all very interesting.
I have had relatively good news from the majority of mason bee producers. It seems there was enough reasonable good weather for good production along the west coast of NA. Of course, raccoons, flickers and ants have taken their toll. But overall, production will be adequate for replenishing their nests next year.
People are trying out different types of nests, bee attractants and different ways of setting out bees and protecting them from the weather.
I find this bee attractant very interesting although I have not heard whether it has been properly tested by scientists (as yet).
Here in BC rain and cool weather has been a large part of June. I am curious whether, there has been enough warmth for bee larvae to feed and develop into adult bees. In the fall when I open nests and examine the contents, I will be looking for the proportion of pollen lumps. If the percent pollen lumps is greater than 5%, it usually indicates cold and damp weather. Bee larvae have died of starvation because they were too cold to feed.