Category Archives: Bees

Success with Mason Bees

Last year was great for Mason Bees. Our little colony grew significantly; and I’ve heard similar accounts from other Seattle gardeners. In fact, I now have more cocoons than I need. So I decided to give some of them away … Continue reading

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Mason Bee Tally 2012

In early May I conservatively estimated we would end up with about 250 cocoons by the end of the season. As it turns out, this was a really good year for Mason bees. After sorting and cleaning, we have 430 … Continue reading

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Harvesting Mason Bee Cocoons

By late September, mason bees have completed their development and are safely ensconced in their cocoons awaiting the return of spring. It’s a good idea to now extract the individual cocoons and store them in a safe and temperature-stable location. … Continue reading

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Bumblebee Sex

Serendipitously, we were witness to a bumblebee queen mating in our garden. Not knowing much about bumblebees, we were quite surprised. Most other bee species mate earlier in the year. Honeybee queens do it in flight, so you never actually … Continue reading

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Warre Hive Lift

Warre hives are similar to Langstroth hives, consisting of a stack of hive bodies. In principle, management of a Warre is exceedingly simple: add 2 empty boxes in spring, remove 2 full boxes in fall and extract the honey. A … Continue reading

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