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Cardboard tubes are used as nesting material for mason bees.  Tubes are one of the many different types of nests available for mason bees.  They are attractive to mason bees and produce a good

Bundle of Ezy-harvest tubes. About half are filed to the end. Note different color mud used to plug up different nests.

Loose bundle of EZy-arvest tubes

Loose bundle of Ezy-harvest tubes

 

 return of mason bees for the following year.  However, cardboard tubes should only be used once ( accumulation of pests and predators over one season) , tubes do not provide protection against parasites and predators  and are usually time consuming to unfurl tubes in order  to harvest and clean cocoons. 

All cardboard tubes are not created equal.  It was originally thought that thick walled cardboard tubes would prevent  parasitization of the bees. We soon found out that even cardboard tubes 40/1000″ (4mm) thick could be parsitized.  It is now evident that these parasites can be reduced  by using net bags in the summer and candling at time of harvest.

To make cardboard tubes easier to use we designed a cardboard tube that allows the easy harvesting of cocoons.  We  designed the EZY-Harvest tubes  that unfurls after an overnight soak.  It is simple! 

Soak for 24-48 hours.  The soaking dissolves the glue and cocoons are released into the water.  some handling and unfurling is needed to release and harvest all cocoons.   Read more about the details in additional blogs.  Dr Margriet Dogterom 

Ezy harvest tubes placed in cold water

  

Soaked tubes unravel and release cocoons.

2 Responses to Ezy-harvest of tubes- and it is!

  • Hello and thank you! We have a Mason Bee home at our school and I have the book, the DVD, and the poster! I did not know that you could soak the cardboard tubes. How is it that the bees don’t drown, if you leave them in water so long? Do you just soak them in a shallow amount of water? Thanks! :-) Nora

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