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Archive for the ‘nests’ Category

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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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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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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Preparing Mason bee nests

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 31, 2010

The parchment paper liners sticking out the back of the nest will be folded over and a piece of wood screwed on the back. We will have three kinds of nests this year to check for bee preference and which is easiest to use.

              

We made a mistake with our nest location. A strong wind drove rain into the nest causing the parchment paper to wrinkle. We had to reline but this time we used kraft paper (parcel paper). Reports from the internet said that kraft paper works better. For sure this kind of nest needs to be in a very protected location.

wrinkled nest liner

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Bamboo nests for Mason bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 24, 2010

On the left bamboo nests are set out in a row of Bluecrop blueberry plants to give a boost to this hard to pollinate variety. On the right bamboo nests are set out beside barn rafters. The plastic markers stapled to the wall are like house addresses for the bees.

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Mason bees emerge early in 2010

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 24, 2010

Mason bees have been emerging gradually for about a week now but with a warm day today (approaching 20c-70f) many more bees have chewed through their cocoons. The nest block below was left out over the winter. The circled holes were pre-existent.

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Videos of Mason bees and Bumblebees

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 30, 2009

The nests in this video look similar to the variable sized nests we use made of bamboo. It’s hard to identify the materials used in these  nests.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2487381482109804

Another video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQaKKSNQ1Qk

In this video of a bumblebee nest notice the queen appear on the right. She appears to be laying an egg. Right now queen bumblebees are pollinating our earliest blueberry blossoms but it is the young worker bumblebees that we really rely on to pollinate later varieties.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vGbm3oQKIA&feature=related

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Mason bee nests

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 1, 2008

 March 31,2008.

Mason bees will be emerging from their cacoons soon. They have spent their time since last spring in a tiny compartment in this bamboo nest. The same mud wall that seperates the compartments forms the entrance to the nest. Looking at the colour of the entrance you can see why they are called “Mason” bees. (click on pictures to enlarge)

mason-bee-mar08-005.jpg

The set of bamboo nests above along with others is in a large container with a couple of holes drilled in it. When the bees see the light they escape through the hole but can’t find their way back to their old nest. A new clean nest has been prepared and is placed under the eaves of a building. They like this south facing site a lot. It is well protected from predators.

mar3108-005.jpg

As you can see from this picture the Masson bee is like a little bristle brush. This makes for good pollination-better than a honey bee but not as good as a bumble bee.

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