LEARN: 4. How to Raise Spring Mason Bees

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4.5 Summer: Remove & Protect

4.5 Summer: Remove & Protect

Gnat-sized parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside of developing bee larvae and they are one of the most common pests for hole-nesting bees.

The parasitic wasps that attack mason bees are called monodontomerus, also known as mono. Mono wasps become active when developing bee larvae grow large enough to attack.

The adult mason bee lifespan is fairly short and female mason bees will stop nesting after 4-6 weeks. Spring mason bees only produce one generation per year and this fact helps us protect the developing bee larvae from parasitic wasps, ants, earwigs, birds, and other predators.

Remove filled nesting holes from the bee house and store the nesting holes over the summer with mud capped end facing up and protect with a fine-mesh BeeGuard Bag. The mason bee larvae need the warmth of summer to develop from egg to adult. You want to mimic nature’s temperatures and summertime storage should always be in an unheated and unconditioned shed or garage.

  • Mason bee activity usually ends in late spring or early summer.
  • Store nesting holes with the capped or open end facing up - this ensures the larvae stay on top of their pollen loaf.
  • Reusable Wood Trays: Wait until all female mason bees are done nesting to remove and protect.
  • Natural Reeds and BeeTubes with Inserts: You may remove individual filled nesting holes as soon as they are capped with mud. It’s best to remove them at night so that the remaining nesting bees can reorient in the morning.
  • Provide fresh nesting holes for actively nesting female bees.
  • Check the BeeGuard Bag for any sneaky mono wasps that show up within a week or two of removing filled nesting holes. Squish these wasps to keep them from attacking your developing bees.

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How to Raise Mason Bees
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