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Mason and leaf cutter bees questions  RSS feed

 
M. Korsz
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Can leaf-cutter bees and Mason bees nest in the same tubes at the same time? I know Mason bees are earlier in the spring and leaf-cutter bees are more towards the summertime, but will they nest in the tubes at the same time and not have conflict between them?

Are leaf-cutter bees also not aggressive?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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At my place, leaf-cutter bees prefer a hole size of 3/16", but will occupy larger and smaller holes. The instructions I read online for mason bees recommend a hole size of 5/16".  That's within the size range that the leaf-cutter bees will use, but they only use them after smaller holes have been filled. If I were to attempt to cultivate mason bees, I would cultivate them separately, at least to start. At my place leaf cutter bees are active in late summer.

I think I've only been stung once by a leaf-cutter. I don't know if I'd call leaf-cutter bees non-aggressive. Maybe it's just the honeybee keeper in me being hyper-wary. When a bee starts making threatening sounds, and I'm not fully protected, I'm running away regardless of species.

 
M. Korsz
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Thanks for the info!  I just thought of something. ...what if I had two batches of mason bee cocoons and hatched one the normal time in the early spring. Then kept the other batch in the refrigerator until early summer and then i would have the second batch to pollinate during the summer around the time the first batch is dying off.

How big are leaf-cutter bees? A 3/16 hole seems pretty small
 
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