Problem: The stelis bee, or “cuckoo bee”, gets its name from being a parasite that lays its eggs in the nest of mason bee. They lack the ability to transport pollen, and so lay their eggs in the pollen mass carried by the mason bee. When the stelis egg hatches, it kills the mason bee egg or young larva and then consumes the remaining pollen.
The best means of determining this pest’s cocoon is by the “spaghetti” shaped feces rather than brown straight feces. The cocoon is also very firm in comparison to the mason bee.
- Remove stelis cocoons from the mason bee cocoons and dispose of them.
Cocoon photo by Steve Peterson