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My first question is how long can Mason Bees be kept dormant? It depends on the amount of fat reserves the bee has- ie the amount of food it was fed during development during the previous spring.
I would like to start putting some out next year in April and continue
putting out more Bees for a couple of months.
Could dormant Bees be kept in a Small fridge for over 6 months? Yes, but it would depend on their food reserves in the form of fat reserves.
I have an old Dorm Fridge that works really well for keeping them at a nice 35 to 38 degrees.
This lets them have the “cold snap” they need without stressing them from the great outdoor temps.
Second, I would like to know what is the coldest temp that Mason Bees could survive?
I’ve seen Minus 26 degree temps just in my backyard here in Minnesota.
I have heard that 10 degrees and colder can do them harm, any thoughts on this? I would generally agree with your statement. My recommendation are to keep mason bees away from minus temperatures. A good way of doing this is by keeping them in the fridge.
Bonus Question, how far will Mason Bees travel away from the bee house to find Pollen? I have read they can fly about 300 meters to 1500 feet. Is this about right? It depends on the density of bloom and availability of food. In a commercial blueberry field most mason bees travel within 500 feet. In a suburban lot, bees were observed to fly a distance of 3 lots, which is no more than about 300-400 feet.