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Beekeeping: Orchard Mason bee trouble

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LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 15, 2007
8:59 PM

Post #3978857

My new orchard mason bees came out this spring, pollinated my fruit trees and filled all the nesting tubes with eggs. Every tube had a nice little plug of mud in place, protecting the contents, and so it remained until this week. When I checked the bee shelter, about half of the plugs were broken as if something had broken in.

I've heard it's bad to disturb the tubes before late fall, but I'm considering taking them in for the year now, to protect them from whatever.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

September 22, 2007
7:37 PM

Post #4005727

Are you sure the tubes were filled by mason bees? Wasps find them convenient as well. Their plugs are smooth & concave to my knowledge. Mason bees' are rough.
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 22, 2007
7:41 PM

Post #4005738

Oh yes, I watched them every day.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

September 22, 2007
7:46 PM

Post #4005751

Well, then you probably can answer MY question. I hung a block that I bought with the holes already drilled. Two have been filled with wasps, but that's it. Did I need to fill the holes with the tubes as well for the bees to use them?
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 22, 2007
10:22 PM

Post #4006140

You're not supposed to have to do this, it just makes it easier to clean out the nests in the spring. They Say.

The problem is, sometimes there are early bees trying to lay eggs in the holes before all the other bees have come out.

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