I am a bit confused on the subject of timing my bees emergence with my fruit tree blossoms.
What do I use to let them emerge in, while indoors? I see you sell emergence shelters. As they are emerging, can the first to emerge just stay in the shelter (or box?) while I wait for the rest to emerge, or do they need to be released immediately as they emerge? I usually set the emergence shelter with cocoons inside my home at 65- 70C for a day prior to setting them out. The emerged bees, will be inside the emergence shelter until released the next morning. Of course I take the risk that if it rains ( or is very cold) for a week, I will loose the emerged bees. I find the emergence shelter the most useful emergence tool because it is bee- tight. I usually set out 1/4 of my cocoons out at the time, with 5-7 day gap between emergence. This way, some batches may be lost due to the weather, but unlikely that all four batches will be lost due to bad weather.
2 replies on “Timing of bees emergence with bloom“
My bees seem to be too lazy to come out of their cases themselve: I use a strategy like yours, bringing cocoons into the house in a glass jar to warm up. After several days and no signs of life, I opened up several cocoons manually and the bees “came to life” after I did the hard work. But their peers just lie there in continued dormancy.
Hi Mike, Thanks for your comments. There is a situation where mason bees 'run out' of energy. When cocoons go through a warm or even a hot fall, mason bees inside their cocoons automatically respond with increased metabolism. This increase in metabolism uses up precious fat reserves normally used for hibernation, chewing their way out of their cocoons and getting sustenance from some early blooming flowers. An indicator that this is happening is that only a small hole is chewed out of the cocoon shell- and nothing more. This very small hole is often not big enough for the bee to get out of the cocoon. When you open the cocoon a perfectly normal mason bee lies inside the cocoon.
To me, this phenomena tells me not to leave mason bee homes on south facing walls where the summer and fall heat could decrease mason bee survival.