Mason bees are sold as winged adults hibernating in their capsule like cocoons
REFRIGERATE OR RELEASE BEES ONCE RECIEVED
After receiving the bees, they must be stored in the fridge between 35-40 degrees unless its time to release the bees when ordered . To keep the cocoon from getting dehydrated keep a moist paper towel in a slightly opened plastic bag with the cocoon container. An older fridge would work better as it does not have the frost free feature newer ones have.
- Be careful not to get the cocoons themselves wet so they don’t get moldy or expose them to direct sunlight, it will kill them.
- Outside temperatures ranging from 32-55 are preferable to keep bees alive. Temperatures below 32 will freeze and kill the bees.
- To put a cocoon in a reed, gently push in cocoon in the reed with a q tip. For mason bees be sure to put the nipple end, the head of the bee, at the outward facing part of the reed.
- Be sure to put it far enough in so birds and other animals do not get to the cocoon, and only put one cocoon in each reed.
- Cocoons should be placed in reeds close to expected blossom time of your crops. There must be several pollen sources before the bees are released. High pollenating early spring and summer flowers, wildflowers, and native weeds are best as are flowering fruit and native trees and bushes close to the mason bee home so that bees prosper and keep coming back.
- Fruit trees blossom for a short time so it is important to have a lot of other of the above vegetation for the bees
- DO NOT release bees if weather is bad or too cold otherwise the bees will not get to the pollen sources
- Bees should be released in mid-March to early May
- Place cocoon filled reed(s) in a mason bee house with fresh, empty reeds then place the house so it can be reached by the sun to hatch the bees and to keep them healthy and active but with leaves and branches above the house to protect it against rain and scorching summer suns
- It is best to have the house facing south east so the bees warm themselves and become active in the early morning
- For Californica bees: place the orange pollen covered cocoons with blue orchard cocoons. They work well pollinating together and will need a box, can, or bottle with at least a 9mm opening due to not being able to determine which end is the head like mason bees
- Be sure to keep a moist soil source like mud near their nest, blue orchard females build their nests in it
- Keep nest in place until about 2-3 months after the bees’ flight. DO NOT change the surroundings, disturb the nest or cover it as this will scare the bees and never return to the nest.
- Store nest in garage or shed when positive bees are not around the nest, making sure it is covered to protect against pests.
- To get cocoons out of nest (around mid-November) simply insert a thin knife into end of reed and twist it to break the reed in half
- Remove cocoons, inspect the reed for pests then gently clean the cocoons and put in the fridge until next spring when you repeat the process, using new nesting reeds each year to ensure prosperity of the bees.
PEOPLE WITH BEE AND/OR POLLEN ALLERGIES SHOULD NOT PURCHASE THESE PRODUCTS
Disclaimer: Once shipped, condition of the bees and handling of them once shipped are out of our hands. Due to the nature of the product this is why there are no returns offered, as well as the killing of bees due to being shipped back and forth if we did offer returns. The bees need to stay cold in order to stay healthy and hibernating. Please remember that there are no guarantees in nature. These bees are not recommended for tropical climates and need good bee friendly pollen sources and quality nests to survive. Order at own risk.