Re: Hard year for our mason bees! But why?
Kincaid, thank you! I'm very proud of the simple yet beautiful boxes my husband made for me, and the ease with which I can now merely load the 6 pineapple juice cans in them and fill with straws. The box hold 6 cans which hold 75 tubes each- a total of 450 straws. This setup has proved so successful for me that my population has more than doubled each year. I have set myself a limit of 2 such boxes on my porch, because I realize the forage/food supply in any given spot is not unlimited. I like to think some of my bees wind up finding nesting further out in various directions, thereby expanding their range and population outward from my 'home spot'.
Originally Posted by kincade
This past week there were SO many mason bees (horn-faced and blue orchard) filling up the tubes that they were literally almost out of tubes in the first box of 450 straws. We put up a second identical box underneath the first box, and I only put about 250 new straws in it. I hadn't even finished placing the straws in the new cans when females were already flying their way past me standing in front of the box and choosing new straws and getting to work in them! They were so enthusiastic that they were literally going into the straws that I was adjusting the position of with my hands. So I'm hoping the new straws will be enough for them.
Gyozu- I love your milk carton emergence box idea- thanks, will use it next year!
Originally Posted by Gyozu
Question for all- in an emergence box, is it better to put the little escape holes near the top of the box, or at the bottom? (Better in terms of letting them out but discouraging them from trying to get back in to nest in the old straws)
The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson