Happy 2018! January is the perfect time to take stock of your mason bee supplies and plan ahead for spring, which we hope will be here sooner than later! Cherry trees are among the earliest fruit trees to bloom and they can start blooming in February. If you plan on painting or staining the outside of your bee house, do it now to allow time for the paint to dry. The smell of fresh paint can deter spring mason bees.
- For each blooming fruit tree = 10 mason bee cocoons = 10 clean nesting holes
- Are your fruit trees blooming at different times? The same set of bees could potentially pollinate all the trees. If the trees bloom 4-6 weeks apart, you may want more mason bee cocoons that wait in the fridge.
- Equation to remember: 1 clean nesting hole = 1 mason bee cocoon
- Reminder, you want a natural mix of male and female bees. Male bees are usually in smaller cocoons than female bees.
Winter Storage Checklist:
- The perfect temperature for mason bee cocoons hibernating in your fridge is 34°F/1°C; if you can, set your fridge's thermometer this cool. A consistent cold temperature helps the hibernating adult mason bees conserve their fat and be healthier for a late spring release.