Mason Bee Keeping


yes. after they’re full i put the full ones in my garage then split them and keep the cocoons in fridge in late fall. if you don’t take them out of the mason house ,the woodpeckers will eat them. I’ve seen it.


Have to keep watch on the bees in the refrigerator this time of year, lest they start to hatch in there. They always hatch way too soon, before there is any chance of flowering, but this year the blooms are going to be way late.

If it gets up into the 40s next week, I’ll put them out.

They Say you can give them sugar water, but I’ve never seen them use it.


I’m planning to put half of mine out today. The plums are blooming. From what I’ve read the females last for 6 weeks - but that doesn’t get us until May.
@ltilton did yours go out yet? Y’all are much colder so when I saw your post I was emboldened to give it a go.


I’m thinking Tuesday, that’s looking more like spring

I wouldn’t do it so soon, except that I’ve recorded the dates they start hatching in the fridge, and some years it’s been as early as 3/10. If they’re gonna hatch, they’d better do it outside.


There was a bee guy,teaching at the Raintree classes yesterday and I asked him,if anything could be done with Mason bees,to bring them out of dormancy to help pollinate the early blooming Japanese Plums.
He said to try warming them up gently by placing some in an indoor room and when the first ones wake up,then put the others of that group


I haven’t waded into the bee world yet, but there’s a lot of talk about protecting bees from wasps. Might the wasps be good pollinators too? I don’t know much about bees or wasps, but I thought that parasitic wasps were great garden/orchard buddies because they pollinate blooms and kill pests. Assuming they don’t eradicate the bees and can coexist, wouldn’t we want to have plenty of both?


Coexist is probably a key


An interesting comment was made by the guy at the Raintree class.He said two female Mason bees can pollinate a whole


There are a ton of different kind of wasps, some of which are pollinators. Others are parasitic, killing both pest insects, and beneficial insects too.

In most cases, if you have a high level of diversity of plants, you will have a balanced ecosystem, where beneficials will dominate.


Are parasitic and pollinating exclusive? I thought the larva/eggs kill and the adults can pollinate?


As far as Mason bees are concerned the adult Mono wasp lays eggs in the nests the Mason bees make. Not all wasps do this. Not sure the Mono wasp pollinates.


Pretty sure it doesn’t. There’s a great variety in wasps, but generally they’'re not much as pollinators. Their larvae are carnivorous, and feeding them is the first priority