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Monthly Archives: November 2011

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.   

Here the beneficial wasp is inside a routered tray nesting tunnel,
 securely within its mud vestibule.
TODO:  Remove any mason bee cocoons with a Scoop and  remove
debris with an old toothbrush.  Then replace lid over beneficial wasps and  set
outside ready for next year.

Randy from Olympia has created a unique and premium product for Beediverse.
The new product is a handcrafted scoop with the handle crafted from native wood.
The wood stock is carefully dried until it stabilized without cracking.  Then the handle is hand-crafted into a scoop handle.  Wood type available is flowering plum, native hazel nut and cherry while quantities last.
The plum is dense and heavier then the hazel.  The hazel is a lighter wood and tough.    Cherry  has a reddish brown color.Go to the link below and see our new product.  This is a great product for the mason bee keeper who has everything!
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.
  These beneficial wasps 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.

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