With every technique and system there is a good way to do it and there is a not so good way to do it. It is the same for various techniques used to safely overwinter bee cocoons. There are 3 main things to keep in mind when storing mason bees:
- Keeping predators from eating bee cocoons
- Preventing bee cocoons from drying out
- Preventing bees from coming out earlier and or in the wrong place (like a storage shed)
The easiest way to keep rodents away from eating the cocoons is to store them inside a fridge. To keep cocoons from dehydration inside a fridge place cocoons into a Humidity cooler. But do check for water inside the humidity cooler. An alternative is to store them outside. If outside storage is preferred, keep cocoons in a cookie tin with a few airholes in the lid.
The metal tin will prevent predation. Outside storage only works however until temperatures warm up. The cocoons will have to be moved to the mason bee home for release as spring arrives. Cocoons set out under the attic of the Highrise for example will be safe from dehydration and predation. Releasing them from a Highrise or other home will make sure the bees emerge at the right time at the right location.