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.  


  1. You need a bee cam on UStream LOL


  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.