NOTE: I do not have Mason Bee Cocoons available for sale in 2018, however I can provide the stems of the native reed Phragmitesaustralis which are considered to be the best tubes for encouraging the native mason bee pollinators. By putting out the tubes alone without releasing bees, you can in some areas attract the native pollinators anyway.
I package these in lots of 30 now for $15.00 plus shipping costs. Included are a variety of lengths and diameters if you want. Smaller diameters attract other mason bee species. Indicate the maximum tube length you prefer when ordering. Ordering by Paypal is acceptable or you may pick them up at our farm in Metchosin on Southern Vancouver island.
Price for 30 tubes=$15..00
GST and PST= $1.75
packaging and shipping= $2.70
Total = $19.35.. use the paypal button below:
Price for 60 tubes= $30.00
GST and PST = $ 3.50
packaging and shipping= $2.70
Total= $ 36.10…Use the paypal button below:
I am short of mason bee cocoons this year, but even if you can’t get a source for bees this year, you can set out some of these tubes placed in a suitable re-purposed home made from a PVC pipe (or see other homemade suggestions if you scroll down through postings here), and you will probably attract native mason bees.
It has been so cool in the last month here in Metchosin that my mason bees have almost missed the peach and nectarine blooming time.
Update–April 15: Today they were the most active i have seen them . I started putting a few cocoons out a week ago, and have warmed up some indoors by just removing their containers from the fridge and then setting the jar out in the daytime when the sun is on them. Anyway a very unusual cold start for the spring.
I have several kinds of houses placed on the South East corner of our house.
Well thats a takeoff on what I have decided to call my Mason Bee operation.. Its now MASON BEES METCHOSIN. Below are the latest versions of a poster and simplified yearly directions I have on a business card.
Scroll back through the mason bee postings to see samples of houses made from repurposed/recycled materials.
I now have mason bee cocoons available to be picked up at our farm for the Spring Season, 2017. You can email or phone ahead to arrange a time to get them: Osmia lignaria
Currently they have been cleaned and are refrigerated.
Costs for this yearfor two dozen packets are as follows:
25 Cleaned Mason Bee Cocoons = $15.00 24 (now 30) Phragmites reed tubes= $15.00
For Culturing, I also sell dried natural Phragmites reed grass stem tubes which I harvest from our wetland. I find that these tubes are the the most efficient type of tube for attracting mason bees and reducing parasite infection.
Also inexpensive re-purposed material houses are available.
I also have a selection of re-purposed materials bee houses complete with phragmites tubes installed . These range from $30.00 to $50.00. But I would really encourage you to make your own so samples for ideas will be available.
I am also already planning on attending the following Seedy Saturdays where I will have a display and the blue orchard bees for sale. (click on for links)
In the previous post I indicated I was trying to identify wasps that had taken up residence in mason bee tubes, without actually parasitizing the mason bees
I found the larvae in tubes while removing the mason bee cocoons in the winter, and transferred them to a separate jar where I let them hatch. By May 1 they were hatching so after taking a few pictures, I sent the images off to BugGuide.
So he thinks there are actually three species represented in these pictures.
Eumenines prey mainly upon moth larvae, although some take larvae of leaf-feeding beetles.
Adults take nectar.
Kingdom Animalia (Animals) Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) Class Insecta (Insects) Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) No Taxon (Aculeata – Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps) Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies) Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps) Subfamily Eumeninae (Potter and Mason Wasps) Genus Ancistrocerus
There were three species identified from my photographs( labelled above) although it is very difficult to confirm identity without being able to examine a specimen. Next year I will be sure to send him samples to confirm, and I will certainly not destroy these larvae when cleaning out mason bee tubes.
The time to put out your mason bees which have been overwintered in your refrigerator is when you need them to do their work. I release mine in batches. The first batch was several weeks ago when the peaches and nectarines were in bloom. This week, the pears, plums and cherries are in bloom so I just put out another batch of cocoons near my bee homes. I will save the last batch for my apple trees which bloom later.
I had to transplant this peach tree this year to the corner of the vegetable preparation building so I found another good spot to place a bee home.