Bob D. from West Virginia started his mason bee project using reeds and placing the bee house with the reeds on a post. A post is usually a drafty location. and this means bees are cold and not able to fly and pollinated flowers. Throughout the year whenever he was in the yard, he found many of the reeds scattered across the ground. Repeatedly he picked them up and placed them back into the house. These were likely squirrels or birds. A predator guard would stop this from happening.In October he opened each reed by splitting them. Most of the reeds were empty. Some looked like they had something inside but when opened were empty or mite filled. A few of the reeds were plugged with grass, with cocoons and some had white catapillers. He stopped his examination, because he thought it was too early to open nests. Mason bees are fully developed by September, but other insects may not be completely developed into adults. The harvested 10 “brown capsule like cocoons that came with clay separators” will give him a good start for this spring. The 20 more fragile looking capsules that were surrounded by grass could be one of a wide variety of insects.
Hi, Bee Diverse,I work at an ecological non profit in Vancouver at which we keep mason bees. I just finished watching your DVD, All About Mason Bees, and I wanted to thank you for making such a fantastic informative video. The infra red footage was really spectacular. As the video began, I thought to myself – “But what is it like IN the cell? How does the bee pack the pollen and the mud? What does it look like?” And then, voila! That footage was amazing!Thanks so much,Kristjanne V
Leafcutter bee cocoons. Different colored cocoons are made from leaves and petals.. Leafcutter bee Highrise Leafcutter Highrise-availabe soon
Extra space in the attic for storing and emerging cocoons.
Emerging cocoons in cardboard box. A predator guard in front of the nest
protects nests and bees
Nests and bee cocoons behind predator guard. In the fall-Step 2- push cocoons out with wooden dowel (supplied) and store in attic under roof of Highrise.
Cleaning station in the kitchen.
This is the Beediverse Highrise with tubes on the side.
The Highrise Quicklock nesting trays can be opened and
cleaned. After cleaning these nesting trays can be re-assembled
for the following spring.
A great spot for mason bee homes-a warm
south facing wall under an overhang.
Success! Cleaned and harvested cocoons
Over the holidays, we have been busy assembling our new Mason Bee Home Kit. It is a nifty product and will be a very popular item for children in schools and in the home. Besides the pieces that make up the home, there is enough paper in the kit for making 20 nesting tubes. This will get the child started. If they decide to make more nesting tubes, newspaper or Kraft paper can be used to make more nesting tubes. It will be fun to see how children will decorate their mason bee homes. Please send in your photos of completed homes that are decorated and ready for the garden. I am looking forward to seeing the art.
Click on the link below to see the Kit. Scroll to the last item in the Category
I am continuously on the lookout for items that might be of interest to mason bee enthusiasts.
We have just added a Mason Bee Home kit to our line of Beediverse products.
The neat thing is that it assembles without nails or glue! It includes instructions on how to roll your own paper nesting tubes. This is an awesome product. Another big advantage to this home is that it ships flat. Savings in shipping is significant.
Kit- Mason Bee Home
This is the perfect item for people who like to put things together. A great school project!
Once assembled, the Bee home can be set out on an east facing wall, in a sunny location and under an overhang. It houses 40 mason bees and is ready to pollinate your fruit trees.
The kit includes pre-cut wooden bee box, mounting nails, sand paper, pre-cut Kraft paper for 40 bee tubes, dowel for rolling bee tubes, and tape for taping bee tubes.
This home is big enough to fit a Quicklock nesting tray with 30 holes and with room to spare for additional nesting tubes or a release shelter.
Instructions include how to assemble the bee home and how to roll your own bee nesting tubes.
Stack of petri dishes with cocoons inside a manual defrost fridge. A thermometer is an important tool to make sure the temperature
is right for keeping cocoons under hibernating conditions.
In late Jan temperature is lowered to between 2-4C or 35-39F
Always keep a container of water inside the fridge.
This is an easy way to make sure that humidity is above 60%.
Label each petri dish. In a manual defrost fridge, there is a freezer compartment
that will require defrosting each year.
In spring, the occasional male will emerge even
though temperatures are low.
For spring emergence, cocoons can be placed into Starter
cottages or Emergence Cottages. These can be temporarily
stored in the fridge, until weather conditions are reasonable.
Store cocoons inside Petri dishes that may contain parasitic wasps.
Place on kitchen counter in spring. If any bees emerge
they can be released. Parasitic wasps can be destroyed by freezing .
Randy from Olympia has created a unique and premium product for Beediverse.The new product is a handcrafted scoop with the handle crafted from native wood.The wood stock is carefully dried until it stabilized without cracking.Then the handle is hand-crafted into a scoop handle. Wood type available is flowering plum, native hazel nut and cherry while quantities last.The plum is dense and heavier then the hazel. The hazel is a lighter wood and tough. Cherry has a reddish brown color.Go to the link below and see our new product. This is a great product for the mason bee keeper who has everything!
Variation in hand-crafted Limited Edition Scoops
For a bit of fun, Randy took a photo while he was grinding a scoop at the grinding wheel. What is interesting about all this is that hard metal creates lots of sparks, like in this photo, and softer metals create very few sparks. Great photo Randy!
Sparks come-a-flying off high quality metal while Randy is grinding the metal down to form a scoop.
This little mason bee Osmia californica, emerges soon after the early spring mason bee Osmia lignaria. We have supplies of Osmia californica available for our customers Click here for ordering your mason bees.
This little bee uses smaller nesting holes and has chewed leaf material as its nest plug. It will double the pollination season for your garden. Each bee nests and pollinates for about a month.Click here for more details about Osmia Californica