ALL ABOUT BEES, ESPECIALLY MASON BEES, -Managing them, their homes and their food plants.
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From summer to early winter place mason bee homes inside a net bag. This will prevent your mason bees from being parasitized while they are inside their cocoons over the winter.
Thank you for your comments. I will keep it in mind for posts in the future. I agree that some of the posts are short. I do make some posts short if I have covered the subject in other posts. I try to avoid repetition. If you need further background info, use the search window on top of the blog and insert one or two words. This can be very helpful for shorter posts. Dr Margriet Dogterom
Time for some real questions from someone who has never done this before.
If you put a mesh bag with mesh small enough to keep out little parasitic wasps, how will the mason bees get to and from their tubes? Also, if you soak the tubes, don’t the bees drown? If I want to make boxes out of a bunch of cedar fence planks I have, I should not do that, should I, because the bees don’t like it or because it can hurt them? Will hanging a wasp lure near the bee house keep parasitic wasps away from the tubes while also not hurting the bees?
Please be kind and give serious answers, as in my case these are really questions.
Nests are placed into mesh bags after the bees are finished flying about. About mid-June is a safe time to do it. Bees don’t drown because cocoons are impervious to water. They stay nice and dry inside the cocoon. Wasps occur after the bee season so no worries here.
Hello Dr. Dogterom, The net sounds like a wonderful idea! Our school mason bee home had several nesting tubes eaten away by “something” over the summer last year. I saw a spider come out at one time and thought that might have been the attacker. I had been considering bringing the Mason Bee House into the school for the summer. Is there a reason not to do that? My next question is about the net,.. you don’t say what it is made of. It looks like screening (for doors), is that correct? Thanks! Nora
The net bag is made from a very strong polyester material and has a cord for closing the bag once the bee home is inside the bag. i recommend placing bee homes inside net bags, and placing these filled bags under a protected veranda or an open car port. If bee homes are set inside where it is consistently warm,- bees metabolize at a high rate and may run out of fat stores for overwintering.
Do you sell Net Bags? I need 4 for my bee blocks
Yes we do- check our on-line catalogue under accessories. We have them in stock.
I put my bee blocks and tubes into net bags I made from remnants at the fabric store and stored them inside from June till October. When I moved them from inside to the very cold garage, I noticed a few, less than 5, dead parasitic wasps in some of the bags. Because it is warming up in the garage(40’s-50’s), I recently moved them to the refrigerator and I saw many more dead wasps in the bags. Were those additional wasp eggs already laid in the cocoons, or could they have reproduced in the bags and attacked more cocoons?
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