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Daily Archives: August 4, 2012

From: Harriet W
Subject: weird yellow fluffy substance found

Message Body:
When I was recently taking down my mason bee hotels and houses, I found a yellow fluffy substance in several of the boxes.  It seems almost like wall insulation.  One seemed to have cocoons in it.

Do you know what this is?  Should I just clean the cacoons and boxes as usual with Chlorox? Do I just throw this stuff away?  leave it in the recycle?

 I have tried to take the pictures and enclose them here.  One is clearly in the well for the new cocoons, the other (with several pieces) comes from within one of the houses.  I am quite curious about what you think they are.  I also cannot determine whether they are beneficial to my bees, or not: ex. should I try to “clean” the ones that seem to have some solid masses within?
 
Many thanks for your time. 

Hi Harriet- Others have found this type of insect in their mason bee homes.  I usually place odd things like this in an emergence box, so I can re-examine it early next spring.  We are still not sure what it is.
This is an awesome achievement.  This web site is a great resource for people who want to learn more about apple varieties. 
 
New Salt Spring Island Apple Festival website includes over 1000 photos from the 2011 event

We are delighted to connect you with the Salt Spring Island Apple Festival like you have never been before.  7 photographers captured this great little event, each in their own way, and collectively they documented this festival in a very powerful way.  For the first time, we can show you their efforts, on this new website.


Although we are still tuning up and adding to this website, I figured it was time to show it off.

Note:  For most of the people working at Apple Festival, and especially the farmers who are on their farm for the entire day, this website is their only chance TO SEE THEIR OWN FESTIVAL.  They do not know what goes on at any other farm.  I just love that paradox.  

As we gear up for Apple Festival # 14, on Sunday, Sept 30, I invite you to share our great little festival.
Harry Burton

from Denise S.
I’ve often wondered how mason bees, both in the wild and in provided nesting tubes, get enough air to breathe as they develop.  The chambers are divided by mud that even pollen mites can’t get through, and are surrounded by wood or thick cardboard.  Where does their oxygen come from?

On Jul 21, 2012, at 6:01 PM, Margriet Dogterom wrote:

When bees hibernate, their metabolism slows down and they need very little air.  I presume, there is always some air transfer amongst the mud particles.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply, Dr. Dogterom. 
Denise.

Summer is well on the way now.  Summer mason bees are about, collecting pollen from various summer flowers like Oregano.  These bees are a lot smaller than spring mason bees, but are often the same blue-black colour.

In July, I took all my nests down from various sites and have placed them inside net bags and under cover.  I opened one of the nests, and cocoons are fully developed.

More recently I have been busy creating more video clips for a number of products, so that it is easy to see how the product works.  When they are on the web site, I will place the links on this blog.

In the meantime, a lot of mason bee keepers have emailed me some great photo-stories.  I will be posting these over the next couple of weeks.

 Have a great summer! Margriet



On the left is a photo of newly emerged  males.  On the right, note the paper wasp nest hanging on the inside of a Beediverse Royal house.  These wasps do not create a paper cover for their nests. This wasp nest never seems to get larger than about 50 individuals.  What a perfect place for a predatory wasp.  Food at their doorstep!  When you see them in your bee house- remove them.  Thank you for the photos Margaret.



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