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Archive for the ‘Mason bee cocoons’ Category

Sharing a nest

Posted by blueberrytalk on November 18, 2011

You can’t help but wonder if the Mason bee was still around when the Leafcutter bee decided to take over the nest.

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Mason bees – a slow start in 2011

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 1, 2011

Just over a week ago the mason bees went from the fridge to their release boxes in the field . Dandelion bloom is a good marker for the timing (dandelions bloom just before the blueberries). A week of cold wet weather kept them in their cocoons but a warm day today produced some action. See our video from last year to see what happens when the weather is right!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUobtg7AYVo

2011 cocoons

Update May 22 On April 22 the mason bees were set in the field for release. Exactly one month later we saw two bees emerge from the few remaining cocoons. A month of below normal temperatures and rainy days has slowed the release of these very adaptable bees.

 

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Mason bees put on hold.

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 5, 2011

Mason bees emerge from their cocoons sometime after mid-March. The blueberry blossoms open about a month later. So the mason bee cocoons go into the fridge to delay their emergence until the first blueberry blossoms open. There are about 250 cocoons per container with a wad of wet paper towel taped to the lid to keep the humidity up.

mason bee cocoons

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Mason bee nests

Posted by blueberrytalk on January 13, 2011

Winter is the time to get Mason bee nests ready for the spring. Kraft paper (2.25 X 6.5 inches) is rolled around a 5mm knitting needle. The liner is slipped into a 3/8 inch hole in the wood block and the excess folded over at the back of the block. Gorilla tape is cut in half and used to seal the back of the nest. (click on the picture to enlarge)

Mason bee nest block

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Counting Mason bee cocoons

Posted by blueberrytalk on November 15, 2010

We counted 2000 Mason bee cocoons and placed them in four storage boxes. Each box has a space of 54 square inches or about one square inch for 10 cocoons. From the picture we know what 500 cocoons looks like. In the future we will use the boxes to estimate 500 cocoons. Forget the counting!

Mason bee cocoons

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Mason bee cocoons – 2010

Posted by blueberrytalk on November 5, 2010

cocoons in bamboo tubes

Bamboo tubes have been split to extract and clean the cocoons. Notice how the cocoon size varies with the size of the tube. One cell has been destroyed by pollen mites.

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Mason bees cast their vote.

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 22, 2010

The mason bees have selected the kind of nest they prefer. The top nest is a solid block of wood with kraft paper liners in each hole (about 80% filled). The bottom nests are layers of wood that are screwed together (about 15% filled). Click on the picture to enlarge for a better view.

Mason bee nests

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On the bee menu today: Viburnum & Holly

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 13, 2010

Honeybee and Viburnum on the left. Mason bee and Holly on the right.

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Mason bee nests

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 6, 2010

This is still early in the pollination cycle. Some Mason bees have already filled a nest tube

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Release of Mason bees intensifies

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 20, 2010

Mason bees have been coming out of their cocoons for some time now but recent warmth has caused a surge of released bees. This is in perfect timing with the opening of blueberry blossoms. 

mason bee cocoons

 Mason bees are cool. They no sooner emerge than our video shows them mating!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUobtg7AYVo

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