From New Brunswick

First prototype


First prototype 3045

P1030581- Beneficial wasp pupa

Mason bee houses built for Parks and blueberry farmer

To Dr Margriet Dogterom,

My Grandson’s monetary Scout Project is to make money for the Scout Jamboree in NS.  This project started me with Mason Bees for New Brunswick area along with a retired bee keeper/neighbor.  Picture #3045 is my first prototype after reviewing video’s on the internet about mason and leaf cutter bees.  These worked well in trees near to flower and vegetable gardens (interesting for talkative neighbors).  In picture #3071, the 10 houses on top,  were built for a blueberry farmer to place in his fields.  The next 5 houses were built to place in Kingsbra Gardens- similar to Buchard Gardens in BC, but smaller.  In the town of St. Andrews (named as the best tourist town in 2017)  Mason bees are not known here at all, it is hard to promote….. to get houses set up in public places.

THIS WAS MY FINDINGS in YR. ONE to all involved with this  
I assume I started setting up the Mason Bees houses a little to late this year (June 10th).  I  am quite disappointed in the results though……. my investigation was Nov. 7th.  I found no Mason Bee cocoons.  All I got was leaf cutter bee cells instead  of Mason Bee cocoons.  I also found some pupae that have no covering. (as shown in picture# P1030581).  The houses were very easy to take apart and the paper tubes just pulled out for investigation.  For some reason the mud was solid on the front of a few …… but bees were dead inside.
Needless to say I went on the internet  looking for suppliers of “Mason bees Cocoons” this week for in the spring.  Your site was the most informative and interesting as you have the tools for teaching and demonstrating properly which I seen today for the very first time. I was just fascinated by your viewing units, your books, your houses and wall literature.   May I have permission to foreword your site “product information” to Kingsbra Gardens Management..??  I have made lots of mistakes and wish I had have gone to “Beediverse” prior to getting started I read from someone that the mason bees west of the mountains are a different species than what may survive in the Maritimes? …… I may have to get my cocoons from Ontario? ……Is this true?
THANK YOU…….. for taking the time to read this info
Yours truly …..Ralph S.
Hello Ralph,
Thank you for your story, questions and kind words.  I find it exciting that you are starting with mason bees in New Brunswick.  Mason bees are native to North America.  The same species Osmia lignaria occurs across North America and these have been named the Eastern and Western subspecies.  You should first see if anyone is producing them locally.  If not, you will have to look elsewhere.  I am not familiar with others who produce mason bees in the East.
To start with mason bees, without some additional mason bee cocoons,  is difficult.  Since you may have set your  bee homes in spots with no mason bees.  A trap line is one way to do it.  Set up a bee home every km or so.  This will most likely find you some mason bees that you can start off with at home. Small homes like your prototype is a great way to do it.  Image 1593 is not ideal since you cannot harvest bees from these nests nor can one clean these nest types out free of pests.  Although pretty- not recommended.
It is best to set these bee homes out BEFORE SPRING in order for emerging females to find your bee home.  You will have a better chance of finding mason bee offspring.
Your bee home design is good- routered wood, stacked inside a wooden home.  The paper tubes are not necessary but are useful to keep debris off the wood.
Good luck for next year and let me know if you have additional questions- Dr Margriet Dogterom

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