- A good rule of thumb is seven nesting females per blooming tree. Consider how many trees are actually in bloom at one time, not how many trees you have to pollinate.
- Each large/mature fruit tree should have about 10 cocoons for it (4 females and 6 males).
- An example to think through:
- 3 apple trees, that spread their bloom over 4 weeks
- 2 cherries that are in bloom about the same time
- 3 plums that are in bloom about the same time
- 3 pears that spread their blooms over 3 weeks
With this in mind, the “peak” condition seems to be the apple/pear overlap, so you possibly have maybe 4-6 trees in bloom at one time. You need roughly 50 cocoons.
50 cocoons is about 9-12 full tubes/reeds. That’s all you need. We recommend that you keep double that number, or about 150-200 cocoons or 30-40 full tubes/reeds. That’s not a lot!
If you have too many cocoons, we recommend giving some away to your friends and helping them learn about raising mason bees.
- Although males perform little pollination, they are vital, and account for 60% of the bees you’re buying. Make sure you take into account that you’re essentially receiving four females for every ten cocoons purchased.