Our most recent posts:

I have had some questions about candling mason bee cocoons.  Joe Sadowski from Burnaby, BC thought of this idea- and it works.  Candling is just like candling eggs.  In a dark room you shine a bright light under the cocoon.  With some experience, you can see the adult mason bee in a fetal position inside the cocoon.  You can also see empty cocoons or non- viable cocoons, where the larva has died and not developed into a adult bee. 

Here is a batch of mason bee cocoons.  Mud has been washed off, and mites have been removed.  After washing them, cocoons take about an hour or so to dry and then candling can be done.

Place dry cocoons on a petri dish or similar container,over a 6 Volt flashlight.  It is easiest to do the candling in a room without windows.

Turn the lights off in the room and look at the cocoons.  You will be able to see right through empty cocoons.  In normal light, these cocoons look like normal viable cocoons.

You can also see the viable cocoons with the bee inside the cocoon.

Rock, move and rotate petri dish over the light.  The light scatters and allows you to see the non- viable cocoons.

All cocoons sold at Beediverse are candled and non-viable cocoons removed.

( 297)

3 Responses to Candling mason bee cocoons

  • Hello Margriet
    Could you offer more candled pictures or an analysis of what you see as non-viable cocoons and why?
    I am particularly interested in spotting any that have been infested with Monodontomerus or 'parasitic wasp' or Ichneumon fly.
    Thanks.

    • Hello

      I tried candling with a new 6 volt led light and found that the reflector scattered the light so bad I could not look at the petri dish. I covered the dish with black tape and made a 1 cm square opening in the center. This fixed the problem
      Don

    • We did recently get some more candling shots up on the blog. Hope these pictures help. Dr Margriet Dogterom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Receive our Newsletter with How-to tips, Ideas and Specials
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 97 other subscribers

December 2016
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
Popular posts
  • Bumble bees in bird house
  • Key to identifying Apples
  • Mason, resin and leafcutter bees
  • Spiders eat bees
  • How-to:   First steps in Fall cleaning ...
  • Cocoons in cotton-like material
  • Franks harvesting story
  • Scavenger beetles and mites
  • Ants- watch out!
  • Inside the nest: cocoons inside 'cotton fluff