Sadly, the honeybees/hive that a neighbor set up on our properly failed. They didn’t produce enough honey to harvest and with last week’s snow and low temperatures, they couldn’t get up into the upper box to access the food reserves, so they starved and died. While it’s sad that we lost these pollinators, in a way it’s a blessing since my neighbor asked that the hive be moved (he was freaking out when a lot of gather at his bird baths on hot days).
I just harvested all my mason bee cocoons today with a total of over 2000 cocoons! I have already given them a mild bleach bath and they are drying on paper towels right now, before going into a special box and in my refrigerator. With that many cocoons, even if only half of them hatch, our fruit trees will have plenty of pollinating help!
Once it’s warms up into the 50s on a regular basis…and the fruit trees are blooming, I’ll move the cocoons out to the porch when the sun will warm them and wake them up. The males will emerge first and hang out until the females emerge. Then it’s sex in bee city! Truthfully, it’s rather fun to see them emerge and start mating within minutes. They are also very docile and don’t mind crawling over my hand (leaving bee poo in their wake). When the bees start emerging, I know that it’s really spring time!