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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Question Mason Bee success in New England?

    Hi All,
    I live in Central MA, and last year decided to try to attract / raise mason bees.
    I made a bee hive (block of wood with holes) based on information from the 'net, and hung it where I thought was a good location.

    Nothing.

    Has anyone in New England had success with Mason bee nests? Any suggestions?

    Thanks - Steven

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Mason Bee success in New England?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrissv View Post
    Hi All,
    I live in Central MA, and last year decided to try to attract / raise mason bees.
    I made a bee hive (block of wood with holes) based on information from the 'net, and hung it where I thought was a good location.

    Nothing.

    Has anyone in New England had success with Mason bee nests? Any suggestions?

    Thanks - Steven
    I hear the wood can NOT BE oil/painted/stain


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Mason Bee success in New England?

    I did that two winters ago. I did stain mine. First year, I had ordered a few cocoons and ended up with about as many new cocoons as I had ordered. The next year I didn't order any online and ended up with about double the cocoons. This year, I put out a couple dozen store bought cocoons along with mine. Right now I have about 15 tubes filled up. I read about not staining long after I had finished my block so I don't know the effect it might have had. I'm happy so far. I look at it like a bird house. Sometimes you get birds. Sometimes you don't!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Mason Bee success in New England?

    My wood wasn't stained, so that wasn't the problem.

    Do you always have to start out buying cocoons? I thought the bees would miraculously find my holes and think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    -- Steven

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Mason Bee success in New England?

    Oddly, so far the 3 species of solitary bees coming to my boxes over the past two years are strongly preferring the purchased cardboard tubes with paper liners, just piled in those 'cans' you can buy and then in a wood rain shelter, it's the middle nest box here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9fPBEJTqGz...-April2010.jpg
    That was last year. This year the tubes in those two cans are completely full, so next year I'll need to double the number of tubes and construct a large taller wood rainbox shelter to put them in. I am replacing all paper liners every year, even in the drilled-hole wood blocks.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Woodinville, Washington
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Mason Bee success in New England?

    Omie is correct in her answer that you should be using liners. When you have blocks of wood, stained or not, without the ability to harvest, you're inviting a short lived colony in your backyard. Pests move in and without inspection and sorting of cocoons, they'll take over. Pollen mites, chalkbrood, and a few other parasitic wasps are your main issues.

    My company, www.crownbees.com can help you understand more of what to expect. we also carry the inserts that Omie suggests. for a good price!

    Dave

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