search the Beediverse Blog


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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

Popular Posts

Winter cocoon storage in the Kootenays

Winter cocoon storage in the Kootenays

December 28th, 2013

A question from Anne in the Kootenays (BC). " I was given your starting kit as a gift, and I [...]

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[...]

Parasitic wasp of mason bee cocoons

Parasitic wasp of mason bee cocoons

December 10th, 2013

Margriet, Can you verify that this picture is a Parasitic Wasp (or not)? Thanks. Valeri W[...]

More mason bee tray harvesting pictures from Frank

More mason bee tray harvesting pictures from Frank

January 24th, 2014

Thanks Frank for the great pictures.  This will help a lot of folks when they open up their nesting [...]

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[...]

Dates of posting blog entries
September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930