My name is Dr Margriet Dogterom and am the founder and owner of Beediverse. I write this blog for all who love bees and who want to learn more about these wonderful creatures.
There have been half a dozen reports of cotton fluff inside the nesting tunnels. Here is one I found myself. Most of the fluff is just that, but two cocoon type structures were found in the center row. If someone knows what this is please let us know.
|A nesting tray with 6 routered channels containing mason bee cocoons,
and cotton type fluff in two of the channels.
|Here I have lifted some of the fluff out to show how it neatly fits into the channel.|
|Two cocoons were found inside this fluffy material.
You can see the end cap directly above where the cocoon is held in the photo.
The end cap is made of several layers of mud and is thicker than the usual mason bee end cap.
|For comparison, this appears like a spider web,
which either contains young spiders or an adult spider.
When I find resin bees inside nesting tunnels, I remove any mason bee cocoons , remove mason bee debris out of tunnels with a tooth brush, close up the nest and set out side ready for next year.
|Two delicately placed resin walls. No bees were in these cells.|
|Resin bee pupae within compartments made of resin.|
|Last year’s resin bees emerged during summer months
when resin softened up with the heat.
|Variation in hand-crafted Limited Edition Scoops|
For a bit of fun, Randy took a photo while he was grinding a scoop at the grinding wheel. What is interesting about all this is that hard metal creates lots of sparks, like in this photo, and softer metals create very few sparks. Great photo Randy!
|Sparks come-a-flying off high quality metal while Randy is grinding the metal down to form a scoop.|
Last week a mason bee keeper asked me to look at these two photos and give them feedback on the insects inside the nesting tunnels. Every nesting tunnel tells a story!
|These are beneficial wasp pupae encased in a very delicate cover. They provision their nests with either spiders,
aphids or moth larvae. Sometimes if an egg does not
develop the larvae food remains in the cell.
|This is a picture of cocoons harvested from nesting tunnels.
The dark brown, still with mud attached, is from the early
spring mason bee Osmia lignaria. The reddish cocoon with its bright
orange fecal material and masticated leaf plugs are probably
Osmia californica. Osmia californica is active towards the end of the
early spring mason bee activity.