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Thank you Frank for the great pictures.  This will help lots of folks identifying stuff they find in their mason bee nests.

Holes in mason bee cocoons that parasitic wasps have used to exit cocoons.

Fruit fly pupae -a sticky mess.

If the nesting tunnel is sticky , then this photo is of fruit fly larvae that have just arrived on the west coast ( of NA) over the past 2 years.

Adult parasitic wasps inside a mason bee cocoon
Young parasitic wasp pupae inside a mason bee cocoon
( 561)

14 Responses to Franks harvesting story

  • I’m curious about the fly larvae in the nesting tray. Were they identified by rearing them to adult stage? If not, how?

    Also, what (who?) is responsible for the sticky material in the trays?

    • Yes, we reared them to the adult stage. I think the fruit fly does not consume all the pollen and honey mix they find in a mason bee nest. The sticky mess is the leftover bee pollen ball.

  • Good morning Margaret,
    I just received my first order of mason bees! I have them now in a large plastic opaque box with a small plate of sugar water in the event they need energy and hydration. Most of the mason bees that I ordered are still in their cocoons, which are in the fridge per instruction, and will be taken out in about a week when they are to be transplanted outside.
    I have a question that perhaps you can help me with. Just starting out in (honey) Bee Keeping, so I know there are no guarantees, but are there any ways to try to keep the mason bees attracted to their mason bee house ( I have two in the plastic box with them. I am hoping if I keep the mason bees in the box with their new mason bee house, they will get used to it) and not fly away, once they are released? They will be released in a property with flowers and fruit trees so perhaps that will keep them around. It would be a bummer if they simply fly away. Thoughts?

    Best wishes,

    Roy and Anna Mezias

    • You have asked a question to which there is no definitive answer. If you give mason bees a choice of nest type or nest location, they will choose one over the other. I believe they leave a nest site because there are other better /warmer locations nearby that they prefer over the ones that have been provided for them.

  • Dear Margaret , I have a problem! I have I believe Mason Bees ( we dug one up) there is about 100+ holes with little brown sandy rings around the hole in my yard all grouped together- it looks like a mine field-right were we walk. How do I direct the little bees to a better place and what can I do to help? Sherrie Kurtzer Granite Falls, Washington

    • These ground nesting bees have found the ‘perfect’ nesting soil for them. If space allows, make this spot a bee spot and line it with rocks so people don’t walk over it.

  • We collected several mason bees, but can not confirm it is Osmia cornifrons. Can you help me to confirm it? Thanks.

  • A question about the images labeled “If the nesting tunnel is sticky , then this photo is of fruit fly larvae that have just arrived on the west coast …”

    Does the phrase “fruit fly larvae” refer refer to spotted wing drosophila (SWD)?

    If so, they arrived longer ago than 2 years ago. More like in 2008 (California) & 2009 (Oregon).

    Were these larvae reared to adulthood? If not, how can you claim these are fruit fly larvae?

    • Do not know the species of fruit fly.Here in BC these fruit flies were first noted in mason bee homes about 2 years ago. I reared them out to adult.

  • Do you have images of the flies?

    Also, why is honey in the tunnels?

  • I would like to share photos of my nest boxes from last year. I opened them in November and they were devastated. A local bee person suspects wasps. Can someone tell me how to post photos on this site?

  • Good day! I live in Russia is the seed of alfalfa isspolzuyu bees Megachile rotondata lot of photos and video! How to send you an e-pochty.Hotel to know there are farmers who sell the cocoons
    And where you can find information about their breeding and care of bees? Regards Peter

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