search the Beediverse Blog


I read in a blog the other day that washing cocoons is not necessary.

There are two good reasons for washing mason bee cocoons.
The first reason is to remove the majority if not most of the adhering mites.  The washing process includes a soak in cold water to remove mud and feces.  Then, cocoons are gently sprayed with cold water (while in a colander) to remove any excess mites.  If excessive mites are present (even after washing) mites are removed by rolling the dry cocoons  gently over a metal window screen (not plastic- it is not abrasive enough to remove mites).

The second is to remove debris and mud and feces from the cocoons so that cocoons can be candled for parasitic wasps.  Candling Mason bees was first introduced and developed by Joe Sadowski from Burnaby British Columbia Canada.  In a dark room, and over a bright light, parasitized cocoons can be identified, removed and destroyed.  By removing these wasp parasitized cocoons, there is less of a chance for the wasp population to increase and potentially wipe out your bee population.

It is pretty neat to see what bees and other insects have been up to during the previous spring by candling cocoons and having a ‘closer look.

I recommend caring for your mason bees by harvesting and cleaning your mason bee cocoons in the fall.





A little parasitic wasp with its ovipositor ready to insert into a
mason bee cocoon.  The oblong object is a bit of bee feces
that is always on the outside of the cocoon. (photo by Hartley).

 

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Your email address will not be published.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

Super walls- a closeup

Super walls- a closeup

December 10th, 2013

   When bee finds a nesting tunnel in wood, plastic or some other material, the female bee will plac[...]

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[...]

Today- Beediverse blog read by 65 people.

Today- Beediverse blog read by 65 people.

January 4th, 2014

Whow, today was a busy day on this blog.  Usually we have about 30-35 readers of this blog per day. [...]

What Mason bees are these?

What Mason bees are these?

December 10th, 2013

Hi,  I put out a box of 7mm tubes next to my normal 8mm  tubes for the Orchard Mason Bees or O[...]

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[...]

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