Bees and Bee Supplies
You have probably heard of the recent plight of the honey bee. Now there is hope for home fruit crops in the blue orchard bee, or as it is more commonly called, orchard mason bee. The orchard mason bee has become a helpful ally in the search for an effective fruit tree pollinator. To maximize the number of bees for the most effective pollination, attention should be given to the depth of the home. When the orchard mason bee lays eggs that will hatch the following spring, it lays female eggs towards the back in each liner and male eggs towards the front of the liner. Too narrow and/or too shallow of a liner has the tendency to produce mostly male bees. Our Nester has nesting tubes which consist of a liner, guard tube, and plastic end plug. Each spring when the bees emerge and begin nesting, remove the used liners and replace with new liners. In late September, remove the container to a cool location for hibernation. You can remove the now-filled liners and either refrigerate them or place in a cardboard box insulated with newspaper and store in an unheated outbuilding. Hibernation at 38°F is perfect. Put the bees out again in the early spring, just before blossoms break.
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