New to the UK…….Osmia Mason Bee Attractant
I am proud to announce that I may be the first company in the UK to sell this attractant, along with the ‘Humidibee’ safe cocoon storage box, both especially imported here in my quest to increase our wild bee pollinators in our gardens.
Developed by solitary bee scientists at the USDA, e.g. Dr. Theresa Pitts Singer, and Dr. Jordi Bosch, an expert on Osmia bees, who acted as an advisor, the patented Osmia attractant took many years of research and testing. It was specifically made to retain Osmia species from dispersing from their natal nests, using both lab and field trials. They extracted nest compound volatile chemicals, identified them and undertook various tests over a number of years. In the UK we have 12 species whereas in the USA there many different species of Osmia. Scent marking is so critical that the masons bees’ genus, Osmia, means odour or sense of smell. Researchers concluded that Osmia bees find nesting holes from scent pheromones and prefer to nest where other mason bees have nested. I myself keep cocoons inside my emergence box and left the meconium deposited by emerging bees on the nest box, aware that the scent may attract mason bees to their natal nest and may also attract passing masons. This research takes my beliefs to a much higher level!
The attractant is sprayed onto your existing solitary bee nesting holes, where you already have Osmia cocoons. This leaves a scent on your nesting holes to attract Osmia species that use nesting holes. If you do not have cocoons inside your nest box, do not use the spray. If you have cocoons inside your nest box, the bees are more likely to return to their natal nest box, than disperse, which is why this attractant was made.
As it was developed to help to retain bees that disperse from cocoons housed already in nest boxes, it was not developed to attract bees from further afield. See comment below.
In N. America, the rearing of such useful pollinators is a huge industry in itself. A problem in raising the bees has found that as a minimum, 25% of the females emerging from their nests in an orchard will disperse from the intended pollination site. Even worse, dispersal can be greater (over 50%) when bees emerge from cocoons that were removed from their nests.
Like any wildlife product, e.g. siting bird boxes, which may or may not be used, use of this spray is no guarantee that your bees will return. It makes sense that if there are few to no available bees nearby to be attracted, you may have limited results. It will however, significantly help to attract native mason bees that have emerged from your nest box to your nesting material through two powerful senses, smell and sight.
Each spray contains 1.5ml of InvitaBee spray attractant. Full instructions come with the spray.
If you would like more information email me.
LIMITED SUPPLY one bottle natural bee pheromone £7.99 each delivered to MAINLAND UK Only
Contact me for more than one bottle or if abroad For more detailed information visit USDA
“The chemical compound is a purchased version of one compound found in the Osmia lignaria cocoon. Although I know that it increases the attractiveness of (at least some) Osmia spp. to the nests, It does not have a long range attraction. Therefore, I do not think that using it would cause problems with drawing in bees from the environment outside of the agricultural setting’.
Theresa L. Pitts-Singer, Ph.D.
USDA ARS Pollinating Insects Research Unit
Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322
coming soon……Humidibee Safe Cocoon Storage Box
Many people in the UK do not manage their cocoons for various reasons.
Now with this Safe Cocoon Storage Box I hope to convince people that it is easier to store them in this now than it has ever been!
It has been exclusively designed for winter storage of harvested and cleaned bee cocoons. This compact, humidity controlled case protects your slumbering cocoons throughout the winter. It stores easily in the refrigerator, providing an ideal hibernation environment at a 39-40° F (4° C) temperature. The moisture absorbing pad ensures a humidity balance of 60-70%. Without this moisture, cocoons have a tendancy to dry out in modern low-humidity, frost-free refrigerators.
Features and Benefits:
- Easy to use
- Safe for your bees
- Lightweight, see-through case with clam-shell lid
- Absorbant pad—just add a tablespoon of water monthly for safe humidity level
- Holds about 1,500 spring mason bee cocoons