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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting my 2nd year as a honey bee keeper, and stumbled on Dave's Bees site and thought it would be fun to make a mason bee nest box.

Here is the result (I discuss it on my blog here):



I haven't done anything relative to putting out any cocoons (don't have any to put out).

My question: What should I expect in the way of timing, etc. if I am to see if anything happens? I don't even know when a female would be looking for a place to call home...

Thanks - Steven

P.S. Note to Dave: I had a bad time when drilling out the holes; the drill made a hack mess on the exit from the block - it chewed up the wood something fierce (had to use wood putty for some of it). What do you do to keep the drill blade from making hash with the back?
 

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I have used a Bristle point drill.
Did you put the paper inserts into the pre-drilled holes?
It looks like you covered the back side with a board which is good planning.
Have fub with your mason bees.
Ernie
 

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Not too hijack or anything but what is the purpose of the parchment paper in the holes? I built one today but did not put paper in the holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what is the purpose of the parchment paper in the holes? I built one today but did not put paper in the holes.
If you don't use parchment paper, then the entire block must be put in cold storage for the winter. Also, the parchment lets you remove the cocoons and start next season with fresh clean nest holes.

At least that's my understanding...
 

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Removing and replacing the paper tube liners every year prevents the build up of fungus, disease, and mites, which if left unchecked can eventually devastate your whole colony. Also, you can remove the paper tubes (which are filled with cocoons) during the Fall, clean the cocoons of mites etc, and store them safely in a small box in an unheated shed or even in a refrigerator, out of harm from predators and bad weather.
 
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