Mason Bee populations plummeted throughout Boulder County due to harsh spring weather, so it’s especially important to coddle them this winter! Mason bees normally nest in holes in tree trunks, which offer stable temperature, moisture, and protection from predators. To provide extra assistance, bring your Mason and other native bee tubes/cocoons into a sheltered place with ambient (outdoor) temperatures, but with less fluctuation, like a garage or refrigerator. Cocooned bees are now adult and safe to handle in their cocoons. If you used liners or reeds, take them out of the guard tubes and shelters and store them in the fridge. Ideally, unwrap the liners/reeds and just overwinter the mason bee cocoons. Place them in a Humidi-bee chamber (in stock), and keep the lower pad moist.
Now is a good time to stock up on supplies for the spring, as Mason bees emerge in mid-March. Replacing single use tubes and liners to provide clean sheets and immediate vacancy in your spring mason bee hotel! We are very well stocked with everything you need to support gentle Mason bees and other solitary native bees.
Many folks have been asking about releasing bees in the spring. We now have a special tube designed for exactly that which should make the process easier and clearer.
Please, please do not order Mason Bees online from somewhere else! Mason Bees are very locally adapted and there are pests and pathogens that may come in with cocoons from elsewhere that will threaten our struggling population even more.
If there are any fruit trees (plum, cherry, apple etc, or mahonia) within 1-200 yards, the bees will come. If there aren’t, they wouldn’t stay anyway.