search the Beediverse Blog


Remove emergence boxes from nest sites

It is time to remove mason bee cocoon hulls at the end of spring.  
Earlier in the spring, Mason Bees chewed their
 way out of their cocoons, leaving the cocoon hulls.
The timing of this somewhat depends on the weather off course.  I can’t believe it is 9 June and a few mason bees are still flying!  
Remove Release house and examine
cocoon hulls inside.

When only a few mason bees remain active at the nest it is time to remove cocoon hulls.  Nest tunnels have been filled over the past month or so, and pretty well all activity is at or near its end.  Cocoon hulls may contain developing parasitic wasps and wasps can destroy a lot of newly developing cocoons.

  
Empty cocoon remains from the emergence
box to a transparent container, like a petridish.
Take cocoon release houses down, and remove all cocoons in  a transparent container, such as a large petri dish.  Make sure that cocoons are one layer thick.  Leave at room temperature.  If any additional bees emerge, release them.  If no bees emerge over the next 3 to 4 days, it is unlikely that there are any unemerged- live bees inside the cocoon.

Check for total emergence.  See what percentage of cocoons emerged successfully.  If success is greater than 95% you have done well.  If it is less, then carefully open closed cocoons to see what is inside. 
Cocoon contents might be parasitic wasps or pollen lumps where the bee larvae has died during development.  Other finds might be parasitc fungi- black pupal cases.  Do the examining over a piece of newspaper, so it can be discarded.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Popular Posts

What mason bee is this?

What mason bee is this?

December 10th, 2013

Hi,   I have a number of bees at one of my houses this year. I’m familiar with the Blue one but [...]

Ezy-harvest of tubes- and it is!

Ezy-harvest of tubes- and it is!

January 4th, 2014

Cardboard tubes are used as nesting material for mason bees.  Tubes are one of the many different ty[...]

Nesting with abundance- Frank

Nesting with abundance- Frank

January 23rd, 2014

"Hi Margriet .. I'm a little late in sending you my usual "annual report" on the cocoon harvesting b[...]

A mason bee tree!  None like this one!

A mason bee tree! None like this one!

January 23rd, 2014

Here is a bee tree that is different!  Surrey municipality (BC) is promoting mason bees and how impo[...]

What Mason bees are these?

What Mason bees are these?

December 10th, 2013

Hi,  I put out a box of 7mm tubes next to my normal 8mm  tubes for the Orchard Mason Bees or O[...]