( BLUE AND CALIFORNIA MASON BEES ARE SOLD AS WINGED ADULTS HIBERNATING IN THEIR CAPSULE LIKE COCOONS )
- After you receive your order of mason bees, ( IMMEDIATELY REFRIGERATE ) your cocoons in the refrigerator at a temperature of around 35 to 40 degrees .If the cocoons start getting dehydrated, keep moist dish washing sponge or a couple damp paper towels in a plastic sandwich bag with it opened a little to keep little moisture by the cocoons to keep the cocoons from getting dehydrated.If you have a old refrigerator to use this would work well, because they do not remove the moisture out of the air like a new frost free refrigerator.Do not get the cocoons wet to prevent mold.The bee cocoons should never be exposed to direct sunlight as this will kill the bees. The bees should be released between mid-March and early May. A consistent outside temperature of 55 degrees or higher during the day and above 32 degrees at night would be best so the bees do not freeze.Put the mason bees and mason bee house where the sun can hit the house throughout the day to warm the mason bees to get them to hatch and keep healthy and active,but try have some leaves and branches also above them to protect them from the rain and scorching mid-day sun on hot summer days. Do not release the bees if the weather is bad, raining or to cold, the bees need to be able to get to the pollen sources.
- Place cocoons in the reeds or release container just before anticipated blossom time for your desired crop, make sure there will be plenty of pollen sources around for these bees before releasing. Fruit trees only bloom for a short time so you need other pollen sources also to keep the bees alive and active during the bees life cycle.
- Place the cocoons outside next to your nesting material in some type of emergence box. A small container like a vitamin or, old prescription drug container (dark plastic) with a 9mm hole drilled in the bottom for the bees to come out of.Put this container at the bottom of your reeds inside of your nesting house in with the reeds if possible for a more natural setting and scent for the bees to hatch out in. You can put one cocoon per reed with the nipple side of the cocoon facing out, the nipple side is the head end of the bees. Gently push the cocoons into the reeds with cotton swab or pencil. Some bees might die during hibernation its just how nature is. Ensure that birds and other animals cannot get to the cocoons. The nest should be protected from the rain or other water and facing south-east as the bees like to sun themselves in the early morning to warm up and become active.
- Keep emergence container and nest in place even after the bees have hatched and they've completed their flight for 2 to 3 months. You don't want to change the surroundings of the nesting area or bother, get to close, mess with the nest, cover it with anything trying to keep the bees warm, this will scare your bees and they will leave the nest and they will not return. Its is important to keep away from the nest until the bees are all hatched out and done breeding, the bees can be on the ground breeding and you can step on them and kill them. Keep the emergence container secured within or by the nest. California bees you will need a box or can, vitamin bottle with a 9 mm hole to release these bees, because its hard to determine which end is the head end. Place the California mason bee cocoons with the blue orchard bee cocoons at the same time and they will hatch when the temperature is correct and they are ready. California bees are attracted to blue orchard bee activity and smell, so its best to put these bees with the blue orchard bees for the best success. Keep a moist soil source, close by the nesting area. The female blue orchard bees will need a mud source to build their nests. Except for California bees they use (masticated) chewed up vegetation instead of mud to build their nests. The bees need a lot of high pollen sources from early blooming spring,early summer season high pollen bee flowers,wildflowers,flowering native weeds, early blooming sunflowers and flowering fruit trees,flowering native trees , bushes close to the mason bee house for the bees to keep them coming back to your nest and prosper.
- About 8 to 10 weeks after you do not see anymore bees working the nest you can carefully take down your nest and store it . This can be garage or garden shed. The nest should be protected in some way with a netting or something to try to keep the pests out of the nest. By Mid-November you should be able to open your nesting material, insert a thin knife at the end of the reed and twist the knife to pop the reeds open, remove your cocoons, inspect and remove any pests.clean off the cocoons and refrigerate them for next spring.
- We do not guarantee the bees once they are shipped and are not responsible for the mason bees once they are out of our hands. We have two shipping methods and customers are responsible for choosing the correct method according to the weather temperature in the area in which these bees are being shipped These bees start coming out of hibernation when exposed to temperatures above 55 degrees. Express mail service is needed if you live along ways from Utah and the temperature is warm, hot in your area above 55 degrees outside . People with allergies to bees, flowers pollen, bee products should not order these bees. We cannot guarantee establishment of the mason bees due to various factors over which we have no control, there are no guarantees in nature. We do not guarantee the pollination of crops, survivability, reproduction of more bees.( no returns on bees and/or bee products. We do everything we can provide quality mason bee houses and mason bee cocoons, our cocoons usually all hatch, but there might be some mason bees that die during hibernation its just part of nature. If the bees are taken care of and used correctly, they can be excellent pollinators and prosper. This page is only a suggestion page on helping to raise mason bees, these are just some ideas we have experimented with and had some success,but do not guarantee success with raising mason bees if you use these suggestions.