Monday, February 3, 2014

Mason Bee Houses that are Woodpecker Resistant.

I am losing larva to the woodpeckers, I still get lots I usually have well over a thousand cocoons every year. But if I run out of suet the woodpeckers are on the bee houses right away, there is one Hairy that you have to open the door and chase him away, banging on the window does nothing.
Making better Mason Bee house.
On the left is the style I like to make now, there is no direct access for the woodpeckers, the one on the right the front of the holes would be emptied even with the screen on. This style also has a lot more room for trays.

Use good thick wood since they will try to access the larva through the side.

I still haven't cleaned my cocoons yet this year, the houses are sitting where it is dry and cold, I found out that you can clean the cocoons anytime as long as you keep them cold, its nice to do it where it is warm so best to do them before December, after December warmth will wake them up. I also found out that if they get all moldy in the fridge you can give them a wash in the weak bleach solution and they will all be fine.



Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me what dimensions work best for a healthy set of bees. How many trays do you recommend. Thanks.

Martin said...

The trays are about 3" by 6", I would start with a half dozen that size and increase them every year till you get the population you want to maintain.

There might be a healthy population there already, the idea of the houses is you increase there numbers by cleaning the cocoons to get rid of the parasites and you can release them at the time your fruit tree's are blooming.


Kelly Ball said...

Do you have to seal/close the back of the hole? Are the trays secured together to prevent board warping? Wonderful article! Thanks..

Martin said...

Hi Kelly, yes the holes have to be closed at the back, the bee's like it dark.

The trays are in a house that holds them tight.