When you set out a “bee hotel” to attract mason bees, you’re also attracting invasive predators. In nature they find natural holes in their environment that are camouflaged and harder for predators to find, but a bee hotel has a sign hanging on it that says “VACANCY COME ON IN”
Using the proper nesting material and fall maintenance is a key component to a healthy and thriving bee population. Pollen mites, houdini fly larva, chalkbrood and mono wasps are invasive predators that will eventually overrun your bee hotel and cause your bee tenants to perish.
Nesting material that can be opened so that cocoons can be extracted is the best kind to use. Blocks of wood with holes drilled in or bamboo reeds cannot be opened and over time will be a breeding ground for predators.
If you have old nesting material that has never been cleaned and you have holes that are plugged with mud, you have baby bees inside. In the video below we’re going to teach you how to transition your old nesting blocks to provide a healthier habitat for your mason bees and save the bees inside.
Here’s a picture of the inside of nesting block and mites on a bee. You can see how many larvae the houdini fly lays and the thousands of pollen mites inside these blocks.
Please do your part to clean nesting blocks and cocoons EVERY year. If this is something you’re not able to commit too, then you can rent from us and we can do all of the cleaning for you.