Daily Archives: April 30, 2011

Cleaned cocoons stored in a petri dsih.
The best storage system that I have found for mason bee cocoons are petri dishes. They are 6″” in diameter and are transparent. In the fall, after cleaning cocoons, it is not always possible to set cocoons outside adjacent to the nest.  Many cocoons can easily be stored in petri dishes.
CANDLING-After washing and drying cocoons in the fall, about 150 cocoons are placed into each petri dish.  Cocoons are now ready for candling.  The lid is removed and candling is completed by rotating and tilting dish over light.  This movement allows the light to scatter in various ways and parasitic wasps are more likely to be seen and removed.

A petri dish lid protects bees,
and at the same time allows air movement
between inside and outside of the petri dish.

This is an early blooming apple variety.  Most other apple varieties are still in the tight-bud stage.  Note dandelion bloom in background.  When orchard bloom is behind, and food resources are scarce for bees, dandelion bloom provides bees with ample pollen and nectar.

Crab apple pollinizer in full bloom
Apple blossom at the pop-corn stage.
These apple blossoms will be out soon!