Instructions: Mason Bee Observer - 8mm Tray

Instructions: Mason Bee Observer - 8mm Tray

Instructions: Mason Bee Observer - 8mm Tray

Our Mason Bee Observer lets you peek into and watch mason bees build their nests. The clear window also allows you to watch mason bee larvae grow and spin cocoons.

Instructions:

  • Installation: Bees tend to nest first along the bottom row of nesting holes. Place the Bee Observer in your bee house under your nesting materials (BeeTubes with Inserts, Natural Reeds, Wood Trays), with the front open end of nesting holes facing out. The Bee Observer is designed to be used within a bee house that has a 2-3” roof to protect against rain.
    • Pro Tip: If female bees are already nesting in your bee house, install the Bee Observer in the evening. 
  • Observation during nesting: To lessen disturbance of the nesting bees, observe 1-2 times a day, preferably in the evening. Gently ensure the wood nesting tray is pushed to the back of the Bee Observer drawer. 
  • Observation during larval development: When female mason bees are done nesting (usually in late spring), remove both the Bee Observer Drawer and Wood Nesting Tray from your bee house and store in your home or classroom for easy observation. Give the bee larvae their naturally dark environment by keeping wood tray inside of drawer after observation. 
  • Fall Mason Bee cocoon harvest: Best done from October to December. Unscrew the 4 acrylic lid screws; remove the bee cocoons with a Popsicle stick, dull pencil, or Phillips-head screwdriver; and clean the nesting tray with a stiff brush or old toothbrush. Treat the nesting tray for any chalkbrood or mold with a mild bleach solution or spray Clean Bee bleach alternative, allow to dry completely. When reattaching acrylic window, put screws in until just snug. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN. 
    • Pro Tip: Soak acrylic window in water for a few minutes to avoid scratching. Rinse and wipe with a soft cloth if necessary. 
  • Maintenance: The Bee Observer Drawer was treated with Daly's Ship'n'Shore, a non-toxic waterproofing drying agent with linseed oil.

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