Thursday, May 10, 2012

By the numbers

All the mason bee cocoons have been placed outside for about 2 weeks now.  I left out the release boxes so all would "hatch".
It turns out I had a 96% survival rate.  Out of 102 cocoons only 4 didn't make it.  And those are inside and could potentially still hatch.
96% seems like an excellent survival rate.  That includes the cocoons being teased from the trays, washed in a weak bleach solution and fresh water.  Then stored in an airtight cooler since November out in my garage.  I think this incredible survival rate can be attributed to the cleanliness of the houses, free of anything that might kill a young mason bee.  Some bees have been active now for about three weeks.  I already have 12 holes completely filled with eggs and mud in my tray houses.  Next October I hope to gather nearly 500 cocoons.  



                                                     
                                                       98 survivors vs. 4 non-survivors.


Two bees mating in the release box surrounded by discarded cocoons.  The releases boxes were also fun   to look into periodically and watch bees chewing through their cocoons.  

2 comments:

  1. You need a bee cam on UStream LOL

    Shreela

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  2. Matt, I'm in the process of changing from straws to trays (2,000 straws are just too many to handle). I've made some trays similar... one question Is there a reason you put the rounded end of the tray down? I'm trying it the opposite way with a slight offset on each tray to provide a resting place for each tray. Good luck.

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