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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    386

    Angry Divert mason bees from nesting where they shouldn't?

    I seem to have an over-abundance of mason bees that will pack any hole/gap in everything from the grooves in stacked frame bars awaiting assembly to fuel line tubing, socket sets, propane torches and adjustment-screw holes (and other holes/gaps) in power equipment. This behavior is somewhat inconvenient and, at times frustrating.

    Question: Will the provision of alternative nest sites (drilled wood blocks?) be likely to divert them from the undesired sites in favor of those provided?

    Or will I simply be enabling the local population to increase even further, with the potential for creating an even bigger problem and finding even _more_ of my stuff packed with clay and larvae?
    Zone 4a/b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,689

    Default Re: Divert mason bees from nesting where they shouldn't?

    Giving them an alternative nest site should work. The mason bee, once it has a location will continue to fill each hole till she's done for the season.

    On a better note, there is a market for those bees! Sell them off but keep enough for yourself.
    Thomas Bartram - 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Trousdale County, Tennessee
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Divert mason bees from nesting where they shouldn't?

    Are you certain this is mason bee behavior? Sounds more like mud dauber or dirt dauber to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Divert mason bees from nesting where they shouldn't?

    Quote Originally Posted by gezellig View Post
    Are you certain this is mason bee behavior? Sounds more like mud dauber or dirt dauber to me.
    Thank-you for that interesting trip into the world of the dauber wasps. After some research, I would have to say that they are not the culprits, though I do have an amazing variety of wasps here. (Until I started keeping bees and learning to closely observe them, I had thought that there were only a few varieties of wasps here. Last Summer though, I began observing wasps too, and was somewhat surprised that there were so many different ones.)

    After visiting several different sites, it appears that the dauber wasps actually build their own tubes and provision them with spiders(!) to feed the young. I could stand to have fewer spiders here, especially the big black and yellow orb-weavers that will construct huge webs in front of my beehives if I don't keep the areas mowed down. Those buggers seem to be particularly fond of snacking on my bees...but I think that they are probably much too big for the wasps to handle.

    I have observed mason bees here, and the examination of the nests (particularly those in the grooves of my frame components) leads me to believe that they are the guilty party. Originally, I had known nothing of the existence of these little creatures. One day I picked up my chainsaw to start cutting firewood and found various holes and ports full of the variety of clay that is natural to this area. I thought that I must have dropped it in some mud at some point, though I could not recall ever having done so. Then I started finding it in all sorts of other places, where I knew it hadn't been my fault. Then I was building frames one day and discovered what was going on. Pulling the components apart, I could see a cross-section of how the nest was constructed and provisioned. Having to scrape out all of the grooves in the components added a significant amount of time to my frame-building.
    Zone 4a/b

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