Spring Nesting Material
Mason bees nest in nesting tunnels. A variety of nest types are available for attracting and keeping these bees.
Nest-hole depth and diameter is specific for this bee species and are designed for good nesting success so there are lots of offspring for the following year. Nesting tunnels are constructed in a firm material such as wood or corn-material material. Wood and corn material is formed to make stackable nesting trays that are cleanable and last for many years. Paper is a one-time use only and is made into cardboard nesting tubes or corrugated nesting tubes.
The advantage with nesting trays is that cocoons can be harvested and nesting tunnels can be cleaned free of pests and debris. The more permanent nesting trays are more costly than nesting trays. For the initial outlay, nesting tubes or products made out of cardboard is far less than for nesting trays. However, nesting tubes are only used once. Nevertheless, cardboard tubes are very attractive to bees. So for the first season or two there are advantages in buying cardboard tubes because attractiveness is good and production is good. In the long term though, with larger number of cocoons to process, in my opinion, nesting trays win out. A clean nest every year produces healthy bees!
In summary, the Corn Quicklock trays are durable, eco-friendly (75 percent corn product) and quick to assemble and disassemble for cleaning. Cardboard tubes are great for those who want to explore the idea of keeping mason bees.
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