Masons emerged in Fridge

flyboy(z5NM)April 2, 2005

Hi--

This is the second year I've tried with masons and I'm still having trouble.

The first of the fruit trees are just beginning to show some white, so I went to the fridge to put out the bees. When I removed the tape, I discovered that four of the six tubes had a dead, adult bee in the end. (Two of the tubes still had mud plugs)

The fridge is quite cold (35 degrees on the shelf I kept them). If I would have put them out earlier, they would certainly have starved--*nothing* blooming for miles.

If I would have kept the fridge colder, *my* food would have frozen.

So, any idea how I time this thing better?

Also, do you think perhaps there are still some live, unemerged bees deeper in the tubes (they're six inch tubes)?

I know there are some native mason bee populations in this part of New Mexico, so it's not like I'm trying to raise them in Nome.

Temps are now in the high 50's, although still below freezing at night. They've been outside for about two days, with no signs of life.

I'd love some guidance.

Thanks,

Don

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mtnbkr(Boise/z6)

Hi Don--I'm no expert but I have had Masons for a few years. I tried holding back half of my bees this year because the fruit tree bloom is a bit late. I kept that half in the frig for a few weeks. The day before I planned on putting them out I put them back in my outside shed. When I went to get them the next day (March 30) there was a bee crawling around under the lid.
I wonder if it has something to do with "time" not just "temps". I do think you have some live bees still as long as the one at the head of the tube is alive. If it's dead then the rest can't get out. Give them a few more days and make sure they are on the south side of the house where they get plenty of sun.
Happy gardening......................Tom

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 12:54AM
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