What do I do with my mason bee house in winter?

Mason bees over winter as pupae.
Follow these eight simple steps to give your mason bees the best chance at a thriving population.
  1. Step 1: Remove the tubes. ...
  2. Step 2: Remove the cocoons. ...
  3. Step 3: Sorting. ...
  4. Step 4: Bath. ...
  5. Step 5: Selecting. ...
  6. Step 6: Refrigerate your cocoons. ...
  7. Step 7: Wait. ...
  8. Step 8: Release your bees.
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How do you keep mason bees over the winter?

Place the box inside a plastic yogurt container or glass jar — whatever will keep rodents and moisture out. Punch air holes in the lid. Store your container in the fridge at 0 to 5 C (60 to 70 per cent humidity), in an unheated garage or outside.
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Can mason bees survive cold weather?

They can work in overcast, even drizzle, but not in rain and wind. In general they are active when it becomes 55° and warmer. If their housing faces southeast and warms up with morning sun, and is sheltered from the wind, they may start earlier.
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Do mason bee houses need to be cleaned?

“You don't have to clean bee houses, but it really helps protect your bees from mold, mites and wasps, and gives them a better chance in the spring. Since they are one of the few pollinators that early in the season, we really rely on them as humans.”
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Can mason bees freeze?

The correct temperature and humidity are critical for mason bee survival. Set the fridge at 2-40C (36-390F) and control for 60% or more humidity. Above 40C (390F), males will emerge while still in fridge and below 20C(360F) the bees may freeze.
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How to Keep Solitary Bees

Where do mason bees spend the winter?

Osmia lignaria (blue orchard mason bees) overwinter in their cocoons as fully formed adults. This is a commonly human-managed solitary, tunnel nesting species, and many mason “beekeepers” harvest the overwintering cocoons and store them in the refrigerator to protect them from unpredictable environmental factors.
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How do you take care of a Mason Bee house?

Feel free to add a damp paper towel for moisture every few weeks so the cocoons don't dry out. The ideal environment is 30-40° F at 60-70% humidity. Once spring arrives, place your cocoons in some fresh nesting tubes in your mason bee house.
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When should a mason bee tube be replaced?

Nesting Tubes Keep Your Mason Bee House Fresh and Hospitable

Nesting tubes should be replaced every spring, after resident mason bees have emerged.
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What are two potential problems with bee hotels?

Many of the insect hotels sold in garden markets, DIY stores or similar places are death traps: the borings, stems etc. have frayed edges. This can injure or kill the animals. Not exactly what people mean by “saving the bees”, isn't it? Simplification is harmless at best, but sometimes – like in this case – harmful.
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What is the lifespan of a mason bee?

Female Mason Bees live about 1 month and lay 1 to 2 eggs a day. Males live shorter lives; their only purpose is to impregnate the female.
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When should I bring in my mason bees?

Once you see a few things start to bloom, you can safely put your bees outside. If you don't trust yourself to remember by looking at plants, just think March 1. Spring mason bees (Osmia lignaria) are generally active March, April, and May, so March 1 is a reliable date to use.
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Should I clean out my bee hotel?

Managing your bee hotel

Periodic maintenance and cleaning will result in a more successful nest box and a healthier population of bees in your garden. With no cleaning, fungi, debris and parasites tend to build up which can be damaging to the bees.
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Do you have to remove mason bee cocoons?

Harvesting cocoons is important because pests build up within the holes. If you don't separate the good guys/gals from the bad guys/gals, the bad ones inevitably win out and your bees suffer. So does your yard. Remove your nesting material when the mason bees are inactive, usually around the first week in June.
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Where do mason bees sleep at night?

Mason bees rest at night and sleep at the entrance to their nest holes. If you have a mason bee nest, you may notice the female's eyes if you shine a light into unplugged tubes or recesses.
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How high off the ground should a mason bee house be?

The optimal location to hang your mason bee house is 6 to 7 feet off the ground, preferably under an eave of your house, garage, shed or some other shelter. If this is not an option, choose a house design that provides adequate shelter from the elements on its own, like the Beeworks Kit with Bees.
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What do you feed mason bees?

Mason bees prefer to feed on nectar and collect pollen from fruit trees like apple, cherry, and pear. They also forage on dandelions and Oregon grape.
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Are mason bee houses good?

Gardener's Supply Mason Bee House

It's a little smaller than what some beekeepers might be accustomed to, but it can attract hundreds of bees every day. Moreover, it's the perfect alternative for all generations, from mason bee cocoons to adults. It's made of natural materials such as bamboo and wood.
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When should I clean my mason bee house?

How to Wash Mason Bee Cocoons: The best time to wash them is between the months of October and December. During this time period, mason bees will not emerge from their cocoon if held at room temperature.
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How do you encourage bees to use a bee house?

They are very useful as they pollinate fruit crops. Gardeners can easily encourage these bees by proving artificial nest sites, by drilling holes in dry logs or blocks of wood. These bee houses are also called 'trap nests', or in America, 'bee condos'.
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What time of the year are mason bees most active?

Mason bees are most active in early spring, in time to pollinate the early spring flowers on fruit trees and berry shrubs. Most other pollinators are not active until the warmer summer months when the fruit tree blossoms have faded.
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Do birds eat mason bees?

Birds -- Long-beaked birds, like woodpeckers, will pull out and tear apart straws to eat mason bee larvae. Birds also feast on flying mason bees, and hover near shelters to catch and eat returning mason bees.
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What time of year do mason bees hatch?

Late Spring, Early Summer - Eggs Hatch, Develop, and Spin Cocoons. Mason bees start life as a small egg, resembling a tiny rice grain in shape and color. The larva slowly feeds on the pollen loaf when the eggs hatch (after 1-2 weeks, depending on temperature).
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How do you clean a mason bee hive?

Put water in a pail or any container then mix it with 10% bleach, that is, a ratio of 1/10 for bleach and water respectively. Ensure the bleach and water is thoroughly mixed. Place the cocoons and gently cleaned them up. Remove the cocoons and place them on a dry paper towel.
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