My mason bees haven't emerged. What can I do? (Opening cocoons)

My mason bees haven't emerged. What can I do? (Opening cocoons)

My mason bees haven't emerged. What can I do? (Opening cocoons)

Mason bees emerge when the time and conditions are right for them - usually in the spring when temperatures are nearing 55F. Depending on your weather patterns it can take two weeks or longer for mason bees to emerge from their cocoons.

Unfortunately, sometimes the bees are slow to emerge or they died in the cocoon due to refrigerator dehydration, extended exposure to direct sunlight (heat), or sitting in a hot mailbox (heat). Mason bees can also die from running out of fuel reserves during hibernation or from disease and other unknown reasons.

When you are wondering when your bees will emerge there are two options:

  1. Continue to wait to see if the mason bees emerge
  2. Open a few cocoons up with a pair of scissors

Opening cocoons with a pair of scissors is fairly easy and you can watch the video below. If your bees haven't emerged by early May, they may need a bit of help with a food source before you release them. You can feed bees that appear to be slow or lethargic by placing them on a cotton ball soaked in an equal parts white sugar and water mix. You can also pick some dandelions or other flowers and place them in the HumidiBee with the live bees.

How to open a mason bee cocoon