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It is right in the middle of the mason bee season now.  Stores have stocked up with product and individual customers buy from us direct.   When it is so busy, I do collect stories with pictures on a daily basis for this blog.  I have some catching up to do!  Here is one of these stories from Larry.

We are cleaning our bee condo, and it appears as if we had a few of the
cocoons that had opened and there is larvae in them.  Are they dead?  Also, they seem to be larger that the the cocoons that are still intact (and which we have cleaned to remove mites, etc.)
My first response was to ask for a photo.
“Yes- please send a picture.  It sounds like you have some beneficial wasps.”

Then I received this picture, it confirmed that this is a beneficial wasps.  What is neat about these insects is that different species collect different live food items for their young.  They either collect and feed their young with spiders, moth grubs or aphids.  If one of the wasp eggs did not develop, there might be evidence of the kind of wasp is growing in the nesting tunnel.

This grub or pupae still has a lot of developing to go through before it is an adult.  Further development starts when spring temperatures are on the rise.

These grubs are very fragile.  I usually leave them in their nesting tunnel, remove mason bee cocoons in the remaining nesting tunnels, close the nest up and set it outside again.



Beneficial wasp pupae.  The brown part is the head capsule.



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