October 21, 2018 1:00 pm
Fletcher Wildlife Garden Resource Centre
In April, we held two workshops to build homes for mason bees, i.e., places for the adults to lay the eggs that would be the next generation of these important pollinators of fruit trees – see Bee box workshops.
Eggs hatch quickly, and the tiny larvae eat up the pollen and nectar left for them by the adult bee. In late summer, they go through a pupa stage, but after that remain inside their cocoons for the winter.
Now it’s time to check the boxes, open the tunnels, clean those cocoons, and store them safely in the refrigerator. You can also leave the tunnels in your bee box and store it outside in a sheltered place. It’s important to keep it dry and, if possible, protect it from temperature extremes.
At this workshop, you’ll have a chance to see cocoons and how they are arranged inside the tunnels we made last spring, in the little mud rooms constructed by mason bees.
Materials will also be on hand to make a new mason bee box for next spring.