[NAFEX] orchard bees
setjon at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 18:37:51 EST 2009
I don't think these bees are going to survive -41 0r anywhere like it. I had
been bringing mine in to a basement under my garage which only got down to
30F. I had success overwintering until my own sequel to "The Birds" ended
the colony. The little holes you are seeing are very likely from parasitic
wasps which lay eggs inside the cocoons. What the sources I've found
recommend is moving the tubes inside as soon as the bees have reentered the
tubes and gone dormant. (Around mid June here in zone5 in NY state.) Placing
them inside a box with a screen or something like that can be effective. As
to the tubes inside the blocks- sounds like a lot of work. You can place the
tubes inside a pvc pipe and make a colony that way. But with winters that
cold I don't know how much success you will have with wild bees.
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM, D Stubbs <dsmndel at gmail.com> wrote:
> I too have had limited success so far with osmias. First year I paid a
> whopping $1 each to get 20 bees from Utah, but then had little re-populating
> into new tubes. Next 2 years I put out copious bunches of various sized
> native reed tubes, only a few had mud on the end by fall. One day however I
> noticed a tiny wasp bringing in a tinier caterpillar into a tube and
> mudding it over, so now I wonder when I have 'mudded over' tube ends just
> which animal has laid eggs!
> I too have many with tiny holes in the end by mid summer.
> A parasite?
> Last year I took a number of 2x6 blcks, drilled 5+" long holes cross grain
> in them and hung them on various corner posts in our orchard at various
> heights. The best height seemed to be about 4' off the ground. 2' up had no
> mudded ends.
> So this winter I will work up a few dozen more blocks and scatter them in
> even more disparite places to learn the preference.
> Does anyone know how to examine the 'mudded end' and know it is actually
> osmias or not?
> Anyone feel it is worth it to buy paper tube inserts to put in my wood
> blocks - versus just drilled holes?
> thanks, Del
> Z 2/3 ... still undecieded - lowest this year so far is -41F
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