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Tiny parasitic wasp of mason bees

Here is something else to do besides cleaning and preparing for spring.   A nifty conversion of a 6v flashlight. 

 

to produce lotsof bees for the followign year, it is important that the majority of parasitic wasps are removed and destroyed.  Identification of parasitized cocoons can be done by ‘candling’. 

Randy from Olympia has devised a way of optimizing the light from a 6 volt battery  for the candling process.    I have not done it myself, but having a steady light for candling would optimize the candling process.  Candling can identify cocoons filled with parasitic wasps.  Once a cocoon with the parasitic wasps inside has been identified these are destoyed.  Freezing is a simple way of destroying these tiny wasps when they are inside cocoons.   If the wasp numbers  are not kept under control- they can parasitize   a lot of healthy cocoons.  For full details of Randy’s conversion click on the file below.  also click on candling in the search window of this blog.

“…I’ve had good luck with it since I made the conversion, getting steady light while my battery waits patiently for a chance to go camping again.  The info is in the attached Word document.  … if you think it’s of more general interest, you are welcome to put it out there on your website.  Let me know if you have any questions, Randy”.
Optimize Your Cocoon

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