Re: Hard year for our mason bees! But why?
Aye rough year here too. Last year by this time I had probably 1000 mason cocoons, this year, i probably have 50 i would estimate. The mild winter with the intermittent hard freezes are what whacked ours I would believe. It's actually getting late for mason bees in their life cycle, I personally am not going to sell any this year and keep the cocoons for next year. SLC and where I live have really similiar climates so I would say that the weird winter might be the cause but you mention queens... do you mean females? anyway i summer/winter mine outside in a shed where predatory wasps are dealt with in a unique way but I don't understand why yours would not hatch unless there was excess moisture in your fridge or something weird happened to them in cold storage.
Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert