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.

” Hi & thank you for your response to my prior eMail of several weeks back.   Now I have another question.   First I have some good news.   It seems most of my  bees had not hatched from their tubes before the cold & stormy weather hit us.   Today there are lots of bees near the tubes & in my garden too!   There is a lot more debris below the tubes which means many bees from deeper in the tubes    have made their way out – mostly females to boot!

Now the question:  The bees are going back inside the “used tubes”.   Will they re-use the old cardboard tubes or is there another reason they continue to enter last year’s tubes?   Should I remove the tubes?    I have 2 of your houses with the colored Eco-Quicklock blocks.   I’ve added paper liners to about 20% of the holes & will see if the bees have a preference for the lined holes.   Bees are beginning to use the houses but it’s too early to tell if there is a preference. 

 Thanks for your attention.”




Hi Tony,
You have come up against one of the most difficult things to do in mason bee keeping i.e. get the bees to use new nesting-tunnels while the old ones are still present.  For the most part, it is not possible to exclude their use of old nesting tunnels.  Because mason bees re-use nesting tubes, that may be deceased, it is better to remove cocoons from nesting tubes in the fall- then the bees do not have a choice.  As soon as bees re-enter the old tubes, they are laying eggs.  In other words, if you remove them now, you would be destroying the new bees.  I would keep everything like you have it and in the fall- open all tubes, and harvest the cocoons.  Good luck.  Margriet


“Hi,   Thank you for your response.   This coming fall I’ll do as you suggest & harvest the cocoons.  Tony L.”

( 56)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Receive 12 How-to tips on managing mason bees plus our Newsletter with How-to information, Ideas and Specials

Sign up for the latest Buzz!

This blog includes: management tips on how to keep mason bees, stories and pictures from other mason bee keepers, trends in the industry, research news, interesting links, review of products, events and other interesting items.

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

Join 96 other subscribers

January 2017
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Popular posts
  • Bumble bees in bird house Kathy- Langley, BC sent me these photos of a bumble bees…
  • Key to identifying Apples The Seattle Tree Fruit Society have a great Key to…
  • Mason, resin and leafcutter bees This is how some insects overwinter, protected from the winter…
  • Spiders eat bees Hello Margriet. This is my second year with a mason…
  • How-to:   First steps in Fall cleaning ... It is time to clean out nests  and harvest your…
  • Cocoons in cotton-like material From: Harriet WSubject: weird yellow fluffy substance foundMessage Body:When I…
  • Franks harvesting story Thank you Frank for the great pictures.  This will help…
  • Scavenger beetles and mites "Hi Margriet, I called you yesterday from the 16th/Oak community…
  • Inside the nest: cocoons inside 'cotton fluff There have been half a dozen reports of cotton fluff…
  • Ants- watch out! Check out your mason bee homes every now and then,…