I put boxes out for summer bees this year but got none. I did however get loads of Mason Wasps. I retrieved the cocoons from the boxes and found that the cocoons look like little cigars with a dark brown color. They are brittle compared to Mason Bee cocoons and contain Larva. Do they overwinter as larva and develop next summer? Can they be stored as Mason Bees? Thanks Norm Z.
Hi- I have seen these before, but never knew that these were wasps. If in the fall it is still a soft-bodied undeveloped wasp, I would expect them to develop in early summer months as temperatures warm up. This is where the petri-dish comes in handy. Place cocoons in a petri-dish adjacent to a wet paper towel. Keep it on the countertop and see what emerges. Thanks Margriet
I just unwrapped a straw from this summer and in it I found 4 compartments separated with Sticky reddish Brown resin. In each compartment attached to the resin plug was a glob of soft yellowish material with a white larva which seemed to be attached to the glob on both ends.
These were in a straw suited for summer bees. The larva varied in size from about 1/8th to ¼ inch long.
Would you have any idea what these might be? This is a photo of the resin and the larva. Thanks Norman Z.
Thank you for the pictures Norm. I do not know what this is. It looks like the resin is anchored in the resin. If you can, keep it in a petri dish with some moisture and see what emerges. Margriet
This wasp nest likely belongs to a very large colony of bald faced hornets. They are good predators for a garden. Caution though, if these critters are disturbed, they can leave a nasty sting. Photo by Giovanni J.
|Bumble bees on summer flowers|
|Bumble bee- Bombus vosnechenskii|
What is so neat about these bees flying into July is that they are flying and nesting in a nectar and pollen rich time period. As a beekeeper we know that spring is a time when nectar and pollen is abundant for nesting. This period is followed June, which is usually a dearth period. In June, food in the form of pollen and nectar is scarce. Early spring flowers have finished blooming and summer flowers are still developing. Therefore, June is normally a very difficult period for mason bees to survive and not starve since they do not store honey( unlike the honey bees). Thus, surviving through to July is quite the miracle! the surviving mason bees are now again in a bountiful period, when blackberry, fireweed and other summer flowers produce lots of pollen and nectar.