Since Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, it looks like our baby bees and wasps can have 6 more weeks in their cocoons.
During the winter months, your bees and wasps are in diapause. Most of them spend the winter as larvae in cocoons. When the weather warms, these bee and wasp larvae will pupate inside their cocoons and then emerge as adults later in the summer, when the time is right. A few species, like the Hylaeus bees, don’t spin cocoons, but will still pupate in the spring and emerge next summer. Mason bees in the genus Osmia overwinter as adults in cocoons so as soon as it warms, the adult bees are ready to fly. That’s why we can see them out and about as early as the end of March here in Boulder.
These offspring are the reason we ask you not to “clean out” your blocks. These little guys are your next generation of pollinators. Next summer, you can watch them hanging out in your yard or at your 2014 bee block. We will not be asking you to monitor nesting in your 2014 bee block during 2015, so if you want to monitor a block this summer, sign up at the bees needs website http://beesneeds.colorado.edu/.