Since our recent Houdini fly post we have received an overwhelming response from our hosts who are seeing Houdini flies around their mason bee homes, particularly in the Seattle area. This is very concerning to us and we wanted to address our mason bee community.
It is critical in the fall to clean the cocoons, remove the Houdini fly larvae and sterilize the nesting material so that the following spring, healthy strong bees are put back out into the environment. Our hosts don’t have to worry about this, because we will do all of this for you! Being a host is helping the bees because we’re able to clean the nesting blocks and get rid of Houdini flies and other parasites that can harm them… so thank you for playing a HUGE role in mason bee conservation.
For those who choose to put your own mason bee nesting material in your yard, it is extremely important that you clean them out each fall. By providing human-made nesting material for solitary bees, it does not provide the same experience as a natural nesting site (woodpecker hole, hollow stem, etc). Choosing to raise solitary bees comes with the responsibility of the winter time care, so we strongly urge people to either commit to the whole year experience, or not put up your own bee house at all. In the end it will be more harmful to the bees, and will allow pests like the Houdini fly to thrive.
One of our missions at Rent Mason Bees is to educate people on the importance of native mason bees and how best to care for them so that they can flourish and help our planet. So the big question: How do I get rid of Houdini flies if I see them around my mason bee block?
You’ll need to go into stealth mode and pull out your cat-like reflexes and squash them. Do your best and don’t worry if you can’t get any this year. We’ll take good care of your babies that haven’t been invaded by these red-eyed monsters so that next year healthy bees will be put back out into your yard and farmers crops.