A handy and convenient Hatching Hut- Don Z.

Don Z at work

The crew at work

An attic for the safe emergence of cocoons is often designed as part of the upper mason bee home as in these two homes.

Cocoons are placed in a drawer above the nesting tunnels.

Make sure bees have a few clues to help them return to their chosen nesting tunnel. Simple designs are the most effective.

Don Z emailed me these great photos.  Thanks Don.  These photos show many interesting things, especially the little drawers that safely store his cocoons while they wait for warmer weather. Safely overwintering cocoon into the spring is a must for successful mason bee keeping.

Note also the colourful patterns on the front of the nesting tunnels.  These are patterns and colors help bees return to the correct nesting tunnel.  If you find in the spring that mason bees are going in and out and in and out of different nesting tunnels, they need help with a few simple patterns on the front of their nesting tunnels.  Safely overwintering and hatching cocoons is a must for successful mason bee keeping.

Beediverse hatching hut

Successful hatching can only occur if mason bee cocoons are protected from predators and the weather.  A  cardboard box may work, but cocoons are easy prey for rodents.  A simple wooden box with a hole in one side works well.  The type of box depends on the number of cocoons.  For less than 100 cocoons this new Hatching Hut is a safe and convenient place for not only overwintering but releasing the bees. If you have up to 100 cocoons grab one of two of the hatching huts.  They are well made, can easily be cleaned and used year after year.  click here for more information about the Hatching hut.


6 replies on “A handy and convenient Hatching Hut- Don Z.

  • Leslie

    Margriet, do you know if there are any people who want to trade cleaned and candled cocoons? We will likely have over 200 this year (an estimate as we are cleaning them next week), and I’ve been told in a course I took that it is a good idea to mix them up genetically for greater hardiness and success. What do you think?

  • Robert Shelfer

    Several mason bee authorities recommend putting the cocoons in the refrigerator. See POLLINATION WITH MASON BEES by Dr. Margriet Dogerom.
    Basically, the idea is to be able to time the cocoon hatch to with the selective crop bloom by controlling metabolism with temperature. The process is a little more compilcated than just putting the cocoons in the refrigerator but not much. Mainly you just want to keep the cocoons from drying out.


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