Note my fancy cocoon release system in the lower pot - a lunch sack with a couple of holes cut into it.
I put some clay in pots nearby, thinking that the bees might be able to make shorter trips. But I should have just used a bucket so the water won't drain out. I have since put one of the pots of clay in a bucket of water, we'll see what the bees think of that.
Miles Flansburg wrote:Sweet !
Dave can you explain the "cocoon release" system to me?
I will be using your potting bucket ideas this year.
Sure - if you follow Dave Hunter's (crownbees.com) suggestions and clean your bee cocoons, you need to put the cocoons in something for them to hatch out of. It needs to be something that they can easily exit but will not be interested in re-entering. So I just cut a couple of holes in a lunch sack. Note that the holes are up from the bottom of the sack a bit - otherwise the cocoons just roll out.
Re: potting buckets - if I were to do it again, I would actually cut out the bottom of the pot, turn it around, and put a board or something over the wide end of the pot. When you use natural stems, the bundle is more like a cone than a cylinder since the joint end of the stem is wider than the other end. Thus the container should also be cone-shaped. What I have now tends to cause the tubes to fall out, thus I have to prop up the bottom of the bundle.
If you were referring to the buckets of mud, I would definitely use a container which does not have holes in it. Just form the mud at the top into an "island" so that there is always a dry spot for the bees to land on.
My bees definitely prefer the two pots which get morning sun, so keep that in mind when placing your bundles.