Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 61
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    I was referring to the monkey dancing critters in the two photos above.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Today was the day of my first blue orchard mason bee nesting tube being filled and plugged with mud...YAY! I watched the female finishing up the outer mud plug....
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    I now have several holes completly sealed up with mud. It is pretty cool. But, I still have not saw the bee that is doing the work. I did notice some bright green small bees working a flower the other day in the backyard. Which I am pretty sure was a local mason bee.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Port Orchard, WA, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Always nice to see the first hole get plugged. The other bees are not far behind so maybe tomorrow a few more plugs and new holes started.
    My bees have only flown a few days, the weather cooled down and it has been raining so not much going on. I changed out my plastic honeycomb setups with the heavy cardboard straws. I upset the ladies but had to make the change. They had only a couple pollen globs so it wasn't too bad. I lost a lot of eggs last year to mites. When I was cleaning the holes yesterday it was very depressing hence the change. Hopefully in the 60's and sun tomorrow so I will be able to see if they take to the new homes.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    I put up a nesting block the first of April, and so far haven't seen any interest or activity.



    But then I didn't have any cocoons to "prime" the situation with.

    I am still hoping!

    Here are the details: http://stevensbees.blogspot.com/2010...s-sort-of.html

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by johng View Post
    I now have several holes completly sealed up with mud. It is pretty cool. But, I still have not saw the bee that is doing the work.
    I bet if you stand in front of the holes for about 10-15 minutes on a warm sunny day of over 55F, you will see who is coming and going there! I don't have many females yet (maybe 10 or 12?) compared to some longer established folks, but I still can see about one female come to the blocks every 2 minutes or so.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobOlallaWa View Post
    I lost a lot of eggs last year to mites. When I was cleaning the holes yesterday it was very depressing hence the change.
    I think it was wise for you to change to the paper/cardboard straw setup. Are you lining them with parchment paper as well? That makes the hygiene routine even easier. Watch Dave's video. You can buy cooking parchment paper at any big kitchen store, and sometimes at supermarkets too.
    Anyway, good luck with your change of habitat, I hope the bees just move right in.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by chrissv View Post
    I put up a nesting block the first of April, and so far haven't seen any interest or activity....
    I am still hoping!
    Do you have water and a source of mud nearby for them? I read about how water 'bee baths' will attract bees and insects of all kinds to your yard. Just make sure there are stones or twigs for them to climb out if they fall in the water.

    The nesting blocks should face the morning sun. I can see my little mason bees' faces sticking out of the tubes in the cold morning, trying to get warm in the first sun rays....it's too cute!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    Do you have water and a source of mud nearby for them?
    I have a honey bee waterer nearby (about 30 feet away) as I have 2 hives in my backyard; and my wife has a birdbath closer. As for mud, I have a flower bed about 20 feet away, but that's not exactly "mud."

    Do you recommend I keep a watered dirt pot nearby (kept in a "mud" condition)?

    Thanks,

    Steven

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by chrissv View Post
    Do you recommend I keep a watered dirt pot nearby (kept in a "mud" condition)?
    As i found out, there is a big difference between damp garden soil and ...mud.
    Mud has a high clay content, little organic matter, and will dry very hard. Rich garden soil will not dry hard packed, it'll stay crumbly.
    Try to find some dirt road or place with muddy ruts (even dry hard mud) and gather up a pan of it and keep it damp for the bees.
    http://www.pollinatorparadise.com/so....htm#mud_holes
    http://solitarybee.com/blog/2010/03/...-are-emerging/

    butterflies may enjoy sipping the moisture and mineral salts from a pan of mud as well.
    It can't hurt to put out some mud offerings for our insect friends!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cache County, Utah
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    The blue orchard bees in my area (northern Utah) are very fond of grape hyacinth flowers and actively utilize them until as long as they are in bloom. These short perennials have become "weeds" on many properties yet they provide a good source of early spring pollen for many bee species. Dale

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Omie,
    This is such a great thread. You have done an excellent job answering questions and providing links to important related information. So…. On behalf of the bees and those who wish to enjoy them…Thank You!
    Steven,
    Great tip on your blog about the drill bits. I paid full price at the giant lumber store. A full set on ebay would have saved me a nice chunk of change.
    Dale,
    I knew about the grape hyacinth but your post has convinced me to get some.
    Update:
    Of 27 holes only 4 are not plugged and they are being used. They are also refilling the tubes in my release box and old non lined holes in blocks under the chicken house. I also have them working in my emergency block I drilled and filled the other day. This has been the most active year so far, particularly this early in the season.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Thanks Dave, you are too kind.
    Sounds like you are getting overwhelmed there- you should start selling bee setups to people near you through ads like maybe in Craigslist.

    My little bees are still active, but only 3 tubes are filled and plugged so far. But they are actively going and coming every sunny day, bringing in pollen and mud bits. I think i only have about 10 or so adult bees altogether. But I'm happy with that! I'm still interested to see whether some other bee species later discovers the box with the smaller holes that you made, Dave. So far no one checks it out. But bees are using your other regular block- just the blue masons, not the smaller Osmia taurus.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Well, now that we've been having some incredibly warm days of 75-85F and sun, my mason bee houses have been bustling!
    This evening I counted FOURTEEN tubes filled and plugged with mud so far, and no end to the activity in sight.
    I still see two species very active- Osmia lignaria (blue orchard mason), and the smaller what looks to be Osmia taurus (an asian import mason)....they seem to be equally present and active, and don't seem to mind nesting right next to each other in the various tubes.

    I also saw an evil little predator wasp who came along, backed into an empty tube and waited, with it's head looking out. Then a mason bee came along and was half way through closing the last mud plug on a tube, when...
    the little black and yellow wasp (about the same size as the mason bee, but more slender) came out of its hiding place and crept right up to the mason bee at work and inched over almost on top of her. At this point i couldn't stand it and flicked the wasp away with my finger! I just KNEW somehow that wasp was going to put an egg in the tube as soon as the bee went for a new bit of mud.
    Well it just gives me more thought in considering harvesting and cleaning the cocoons with sand in the Fall before storing them over the winter.

    Dave, there are three plugged tubes now in your larger holed block, and one blue mason setting up housekeeping in the small holed 'leafcutter block'- actually chewing and removing a bit of paper to its liking (!). Makes me think why doesn't it just use the larger tubes in the other blocks?

    Most are seeming to prefer the medium sized holes (mama bear size as in Goldilocks) of the cans of cardboard tubes. But I have no doubt they are all going to continue filling tubes in all three bee houses. It's fun to compare what they all do!

    I'm pretty thrilled with having little mini 'bee hives' on the kitchen porch where we sit and eat in the summertime. So pleasant when they come and go with their little hums.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Counted 19 plugged tubes today....woo-HOOO!!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Port Orchard, WA, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Omie, I am happy for you. My area has had very bad weather for Mason bees this year. I first started seeing them the last week of March, not many and only a few hours of the day. Well it is the 1st week in May and not counting about 4 days the bees still only fly a couple hours mid afternoon and some days not at all. I have a few holes filled in my old 4x4 system but with the new 6 inch holes none have yet been capped. Lots of bees flying when the temp is right, the rest of the time they are sitting in the holes staring back at me when I am checking on them. It didn't help that I changed from the plastic honeycomb blocks to the cardboard tubes in April. Normally I would have well over half my holes plugged by now and I usually have at least a couple hundred or so when they are finished. I do see them using the grooves in my siding at the top trim board so I know it isn't like I don't have many bees around. Heck I still have one apple tree just starting to break bud and the other one is about half done. I really need a week of good weather or no apples and not many bees for next year.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Take heart Bob,
    Note that between the time I posted that i had 3 tubes filled and today when 19 were full...it was only nine days. Once we got a few 80f sunny days, they really took off full blast.
    My bees seem to be 50/50 the two species. Not sure that's great, since Osmia taurus was an Asian import here and now is common in the northeast, but they seem to be coexisting in the tubes pretty well with the blue orchard masons. I can't hate the little import- she can't help it!

    I bet with your cool weather the bees' metabolism slows down and 'waits for' the warmer weather to continue laying. I had the same feeling that nothing was going to happen much, but others kept telling me the bees would really get going when the weather turned warm...and they did. Have faith!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    My bees are not behaving. They are still going in and out of the two release boxes. My nest block only has a couple of tubes left open. I have not seen any leaf cutter bees in the smaller tubes.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by DavesBees View Post
    My bees are not behaving. They are still going in and out of the two release boxes. My nest block only has a couple of tubes left open. I have not seen any leaf cutter bees in the smaller tubes.
    Sounds like your bees are doing great!

    Dave, I haven't seen any leafcutter bees yet either. Just the two species I mentioned. There is one blue mason female who chewed some of the paper from a particular tube in the small-holed leafcutter block you made for me, and she is going in and out of that one hole.
    There are 4 holes plugged in your regular mason block here, being used by blue masons only. plenty of activity going on.

    Here is a little video I made this morning...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jhcccbMdZw
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: My first season for mason bees...

    Nice video. I don't think I have any of the brown bees in my blocks. They really showed up nice in your video. I think next season you are going to be in for a bit of a surprise when all those bees start nesting again.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads