Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    103

    Default How Clean Is Clean

    Built my first mason bee nest from Japanese knotweed stalks. Cleaned them out as best I could. How critical is it that they are perfectly smooth inside with no debris? This situation certainly doesnt occur much in nature. You can see through the stalks and more than 95% of the material has been removed but there are bits and pieces here and there. Hate to put this outside if I need to do some additional housecleaning. Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: How Clean Is Clean

    83 views and not one comment? Wow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: How Clean Is Clean

    JMP,
    I've seen my mason bees chew through parchment paper to remove pieces of it that were 'in the way' inside the cardboard tubes. I'd say: if there are big woody bits, you'd want to remove those, but any little wispy shreds of papery pulp will be chewed off and removed by the bees. Make sure the entrance is not obstructed.

    One thing i note is where you say you can 'see through the stalks'. That means there is no plugged end at the back? The nice thing about Japanese knotweed is that it has culms, or nodes, separating each span of open tube- just like bamboo grows:


    When I cut my japanese knotweed, I leave one closed node for the back end of the tube and the entry end is left open by cutting the node off on that end. Thus, you can take advantage the closed culm end to keep predators like wasps or beetles from gaining access into the back end of your nesting tube. It's one of the cool features of knotweed. Remember, the females are usually cocooned at the back end, so it's especially desirable to protect that end. The males at the open front end are more expendable and losing one or two of them is not the end of the world.
    All that said, I should mention that I put out a big can with J.knotweed tubes of various sizes last Summer and no bees have shown interest in it yet, despite have dozens of females nesting my cans of cardboard tubes. It's still there in my garden waiting for tenants, so if no one nests in it by this Summer I'll take it down.
    Hope this helps!

    Here's a photo showing bamboo tubes used for mason bees. Notice how the node is left on the back end to keep the tube safely closed and protected there:
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: How Clean Is Clean

    Great photos and advice Omie. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: How Clean Is Clean

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    The males at the open front end are more expendable and losing one or two of them is not the end of the world.
    It is for them.....
    Honeydew

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