The following is an excerpt from the August 2015 Bee Mail put out by our friends at Crown Bee:
Right now mason bees are in a critical development phase.
In a normal summer:
Spring mason bees should be beginning a final development from larva to adult bee. If you were to open a few cocoons right now, you’d normally find legs just forming and the bees would be all white. (The photo is about right for a “late-August” phase.) Bees need summer warmth to develop correctly. If it were too cold, your spring bees wouldn’t develop into adult bees in time for winter hibernation.
ALERT- What happens with a warmer-than-normal summer:
With too much heat, development speeds up. Your mason bees become “complete” adults too soon and begin to consume their internal stored fats much sooner. As it is very warm, their metabolism is high and their consumption of stored fats is accelerated. Very likely these bees may run out of this life-preserving “fuel” mid-winter and die.
In the Pacific Northwest where Crown Bees is headquartered, we have enjoyed a wonderfully warm summer and as a result, I’m very concerned about our mason bees. You should be as well.
What to do:
If in the Northwest, place all of your developing mason bees someplace cooler, like the north side of your house, in a cool garage, or similar. Don’t place the bees into a refrigerator yet, but do have them in a cooler environment between 60-70°F. Do not ignore me on this. Northwest temperatures have been 10-15°F (5-9° C) higher than normal and I believe next year’s bees are in jeopardy today. If your summer temperatures haven’t been that much above normal, than you can ignore my cautionary words. If you share my concern after reading this, open up one of your nesting holes (tubes/reeds/trays) and carefully cut open one of the cocoons located towards the front mudded end. This cocoon should hold a male that has lesser value than females. If the bee is white, most of your bees are likely on par in terms of development and should be fine. If the opened cocoon contains a black or brown bee then find a cool place for all your bees to rest until harvest.
Saturday, August 1st 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Home Orchard Society Arboretum
From 9:00 am until 11:00, join HOS members for a free bud grafting class that will teach you the basics of summer fruit tree grafting. Bring your hand pruners and a sharp knife if you have one.
At 11:00 am HOS members will demonstrate summer pruning techniques using various trees and espaliers in the Arboretum collection as your tree supply.
We’ll taste summer fruits gathered from around the Willamette Valley from noon until 1:00 pm. Bring your berries, early apples, plums and figs!
At 1:00 pm we will sit down together for a great potluck meal. Bring a dish to share and you own plates and utensils, and a picnic blanket or your favorite folding chair.
Join us for an evening in the orchard, Saturday June 27th from 4 till 7pm.
The Home Orchard Society has been sharing scions, stories, and a passion for fruit with Portland area residents (and beyond) since 1975. Join us for an evening in our beloved demonstration orchard to celebrate our founders, members, volunteers, and mission of “promoting the science, culture, and pleasure of growing fruit at home”. Bring a light snack to share, picnic plates/utensils/cups, and a folding chair or blanket. Beverages will be provided. We always look forward to meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. See you in the orchard!
Contact Tonia Lordy for information: 503-338-8479 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you had your fill of cider yet?
Saturday November 8th will be our last pressing event for the year(10am-3pm). Spend an afternoon at the arboretum pressing our beautiful cider worthy apples. Bring bottles, jugs, or jars so you can take some home to share with your friends and family. This is a super fun time for the whole family…oh and it’s suppose to be sunny and mild!!!
Looking forward to seeing you at the orchard!
Hey, did you know that our volunteers receive free admission to the show?!?
This year’s All About Fruit Show will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 18th and 19th in the Main Pavilion of the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, 10am – 4pm. We always need help during the show and also during set-up on Friday the 17th. You can volunteer for one shift or for the entire day. It is a great way to meet other HOS members, get reacquainted with familiar faces and help ensure the smooth running of our show.
If you can help, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator: Jacqueline Freeman, at email@example.com
Hello my name is Jacqueline and I’m the Home Orchard Society volunteer coordinator! If you think HOS sounds like fun, you are totally right! This is a friendly, helpful group, fascinating knowledge. Might I invite you to be one of our volunteers? Right now I am looking for helpers for the All About Fruit show on Sat & Sun Oct 18-19. If you’d like to help for a morning or afternoon shift either day, you get free admission and a big smiley hug from me. Message me with your phone and email and we’ll get that setup. Thanks!