mason bee house & wasp
Hi! I am a 1st time mason bee keeper. I placed my mason bee house as directed & it appears to be attracting mason bees. Recently I observed a wasp housing in one of the bamboo tubes. The wasp is completely black. There may be other types, but I have not been able to get a good look. Will the wasp harm the bees? Should any nesting material be removed? Any advice will be appreciated.
Adair County Missouri
Thank you for your question. You can relax. There are many species of bees and wasps (among others) which build their eggs’ nests in tubes., including some mud dauber wasps, described here: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/mud-dauber-wasp But they stay separate from the Mason bees, whose nests are sealed by now. Two larger risks for Mason bees are the mites that the mama Mason bees bring back with the pollen, and birds pecking away the sealed ‘door’ and eating the eggs and/or cocoons. Hope this is helpful!
I have already seen the sealed tubes. However, in addition to this, I still see other bee types (or perhaps bee-looking wasps) using the mason house. If I understand correclty, I do not need to worry about them, right? Luckily, I do not see birds by my mason house. And finally, any advice on cleaning the house & caring for the cocoons in the Fall?
Correct. They share Mason bee houses, just as they share habitat in nature. Your state does not appear to have any Extension articles on this topic, here is one from Oregon that should answer the care question: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9130.pdf Hope this helps!