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Bob D. from West Virginia started his mason bee project using reeds and placing the bee house with the reeds on a post. A post is usually a drafty location. and this means bees are cold and not able to fly and pollinated flowers.  Throughout the year whenever he was in the yard, he found many of the reeds scattered across the ground.   Repeatedly he picked them up and placed them back into the house.  These were likely squirrels or birds.  A predator guard would stop this from happening.
 In October he opened each reed by splitting them. Most of the reeds were empty. Some looked like they had something inside but when opened were empty or mite filled. A few of the reeds were plugged with grass, with cocoons and some had white catapillers. He stopped his examination, because he thought it was too early to open nests.  Mason bees are fully developed by September, but other insects may not be completely developed into adults. The harvested 10 “brown capsule like cocoons that came with clay separators” will give him a good start for this spring.  The 20 more fragile looking capsules that were surrounded by grass  could be one of a wide variety of insects.
He is looking forward to using a Beediverse Royal home with a predator guard. Get yours here!

Cardboard tubes are used as nesting material for mason bees.  Tubes are one of the many different types of nests available for mason bees.  They are attractive to mason bees and produce a good

Bundle of Ezy-harvest tubes. About half are filed to the end. Note different color mud used to plug up different nests.

Loose bundle of EZy-arvest tubes

Loose bundle of Ezy-harvest tubes

 

return of mason bees for the following year.  However, cardboard tubes should only be used once ( accumulation of pests and predators over one season) , tubes do not provide protection against parasites and predators  and are usually time consuming to unfurl tubes in order  to harvest and clean cocoons.

All cardboard tubes are not created equal.  It was originally thought that thick walled cardboard tubes would prevent  parasitization of the bees. We soon found out that even cardboard tubes 40/1000″ (4mm) thick could be parsitized.  It is now evident that these parasites can be reduced  by using net bags in the summer and candling at time of harvest.

To make cardboard tubes easier to use we designed a cardboard tube that allows the easy harvesting of cocoons.  We  designed the EZY-Harvest tubes  that unfurls after an overnight soak.  It is simple!

Soak for 24-48 hours.  The soaking dissolves the glue and cocoons are released into the water.  some handling and unfurling is needed to release and harvest all cocoons.   Read more about the details in additional blogs.  Dr Margriet Dogterom

Ezy harvest tubes placed in cold water

 

Soaked tubes unravel and release cocoons.

 

New Instore signage

 

 

 

   Our new in-store signage  is led by “Hank ” our mason bee mascot. 

  The large overhead arrow shows customers where Beediverse products are located in the store.

 

Most of these Beediverse Quicklock corn nesting tunnels are plugged and filled with young developing mason bees.  Mud plugs are of varying colors indicating that different females use different sources of mudding material.  Three of the nesting holes remain unplugged and look empty although the lower open nesting hole on the lower left, contains a mason bees.  It is probably close to filling its nesting tunnel.  These nesting trays are of the newer ‘wood’ colors except the blue which gives the trays some color to help with the bees’ orientation.  Overall, this spring nesting was mostly successful.  In many cases, production looks like it will be more than the number of cocoons set out in the early spring.

Hi, Bee Diverse,

I work at an ecological non profit in Vancouver at which we keep mason bees.  I just finished watching your DVD, All About Mason Bees, and I wanted to thank you for making such a fantastic informative video.  The infra red footage was really spectacular.  As the video began, I thought to myself – “But what is it like IN the cell?  How does the bee pack the pollen and the mud?  What does it look like?”  And then, voila!  That footage was amazing!
Thanks so much,
Kristjanne V
 

We now have available, both the Chalet and Highrise with specifically designed nests for the leafcutter bee.  In addition, the Chalet and one of the Highrises, also has the cardboard wrap for the other small summer mason bees. With or without bees, this refuge and nesting site is a boon for increasing your summer pollinators.  At this time leafcutter bees are availabe in Canada only.

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