Mason bee newbie trying to figure out what these creatures are....
I had my mason bee block in the garage over the winter then moved it to the garage refrigerator when the weather started to climb into the 40's. I know I should have harvested my mason bee cocoons during the winter, but I just never got around to it. This past summer was my first year with mason bees so when I harvested my cocoons tonight, (which I only got 10!!!, not very happy) I found these strange larva in some of the trays. I numbered them for easier identification.
#1 - What the hell are these disgusting things? As you can see they are walled off with mud and do move around a little even though it was in a cold garage (about mid 30's). I believe they may be some kind of wasp larva, but not sure what kind.
#2 - I believe these may be those grass carrying wasps. Not sure if that is there official name. I think they paralyze prey and wrap them up with an egg for their larva to feed on.
#3 - I have no idea what these are. They are about 1/8" long...maybe a little longer.
#4 - These little cocoons were grouped together and I also found them in another area of the block.
Any help in identifying these would be helpful. I don't know which of these if any are pests or predators of the mason bee. I can send a high res picture if that helps take a closer look at some of the stuff.
I bought 20 or 30 cocoons last winter to start off my mason bee block, but disappointingly only got 10 cocoons to harvest. 6 female and 4 male. I think I may have gotten one....yes...1... leaf cutter cocoon also!!! Does anyone have any suggestions for getting more mason bees to occupy my block? It looks like I'm getting more of other insects using it than mason bees. I left out a good mud supply near the block, I have a small plum tree, a big apple tree, and a small peach tree in the yard. All three are within 30 yards of the mason bee house. I also have my garden about 25' away also. I figured this would be the perfect place for them to shack up. The mason bee house gets sun from morning up until mid/late afternoon.
Thank you for any info you may have.....and if anyone happens to have a pile of extra cocoons and might be looking for a way to get rid of a few, I may be interested. LOL. I will gladly cover shipping costs as long as you are not buying them a first class plane ticket!!