|Here's a cooccon with mud screen off, still a lot of Pollen Mites, I think the brown things are droppings from the larva.|
The timing of the weather here is pretty critical for the bee's to get out and forage, with a lot of tall tree's creating shade our yard is not the best place for them, full sun starting in the morning would be way better and if you have a lot of fruit tree's you probably do, but my few fruit tree's struggle and the bee's help but a lot of them go over to the neighbors huge cherry tree so they do have access to pollen.
There is a lot of predation, parasitic wasps, paper-wasps, jumping spiders get a few, woodpeckers and a new one I discovered last summer, Carpenter Ants, I always wondered what was getting in there since there was always mud crumbs at the bottom of the houses. So next year I will make screens for the houses to put over once the bee's are done or the house is full.
|This is a close up stack of the surface after the cleaning is finished, the silk covering takes a beating but the bee is protected inside the membrane.|
I probably get one to two thousand cocoons so the front porch is very active on warm days, and it's nice sitting out there in the warm sun with bee's working away.
I still put them out in batches in case a cool period happens and it does almost every year, but when the fruit tree's are starting to bloom some of them have to go out, and you can't hold back too long since first week in June they seem to be all done.