Blueberrytalk's Weblog

Everything connected to growing blueberries

Cleaning mason bee cocoons

Posted by blueberrytalk on December 2, 2008

Ayden (nine years old) has done a good job of cleaning the mason bee cocoons. The main thing is to get rid of all the pollen mites. We need to know how many cocoons we have but before counting we had everyone guess how many cocoons we had collected. All the guesses were too low but Tobia was closest with her guess of 600. The actual count was 770. We need to know the number of cocoons so we can put out the right number of nests next spring. Also we need to compare the number of cocoons with the results of pollination next summer. There are 1100 Bluecrop blueberry plants within 600 feet of the Mason bee nests and that is our target for improved pollination.

cleaned cocoons

cleaned cocoons

how many cocooons?

how many cocoons?

It’s always hard to get good pollination with the Bluecrop variety. The result is a lot of small immature fruit as illustrated in the following picture.

poor pollination

poor pollination

 The video advertised in the following link gives complete details on cleaning cocoons:


One Response to “Cleaning mason bee cocoons”

  1. Why use water, bleach or a combination of them. Just use sand and sieves as in our videos on youtube. We use tubes with sand, or jars with sand and place your cocoons within. Much better than Rex Welland’s old bleach method. and have the videos, otherwise all our information is on my site. I research and educate to the public about all native bees and not just Osmia lignaria. It’s also a volunteer venture and not a for-profit one.
    GOrd Hutchings

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