Waking Up The Mason Bees
With the hope that spring has arrived, and the promise of all that luscious fruit from your trees and bushes, it’s time to think about releasing your mason bees from their refrigerated snooze. Check out our webpage for more details on Mason Bee Releasing.
If you do have an orchard with trees that blossom at different times and lots of mason bee cocoons, put out a batch now and follow up with the rest later, timing subsequent releases to coincide with the swelling of the buds on the fruit trees.
My release box is just a little cardboard box that jewellery came in, with a hole cut for the bees to crawl out. You can actually see some of the cocoons inside. When I place it inside the bee house, I recess it a bit, so there is a platform for the bees to rest before flying off. Some people actually put the cocoons back inside the bee house, making sure to put the female cocoons towards the back, as the males crawl out first. Any small container is fine. Don’t make the holes too big, or predators could get in.
It could be placed beside the house, on top of the house, etc, but I find the little extra space on top of the bee trays to be perfectly safe, and the bees seem to like it too.