The first tray we see in this video seems to have some creepy crawlies in it. I was thinking maybe those are pollen mites but seem kind of big for them. Anyways when I clean the cocoons it gets rid of those pests but still weird seeing them emerge from the homes I cracked open. I continue removing the cocoons in this part two of the video segment. Since I have dozens of trays I broke up the video into two parts.
A link to part one of this video:
As I move on I drop the cocoons in a mason jar and I fill a few of them up doing all of these trays, it will hold them until I am ready to give the cocoons a bath with distilled water and a few drops of spearmint essential oil.
When I knock the cocoons from the planks I let them all sit on the table and I slowly pick through them to find the cocoons.
I could just pour it all into containers and let the washing drop the mud to the bottom too. Later on I start doing that to speed up the process.
Moving onto the next tray I loosen up the homes using my wooden stick, trying not to damage them as I do this. But sometimes it happens.
Sweeping up between trays to keep the debris to a minimum.
Its amazing how much debris is left over from the larva, all of their poop and loose mud has to be swept up every few planks I empty.
I wear a face mask and try to wear gloves when cleaning the homes, as the dust, pollen and stuff gets into the air and makes my nose burn. I have seasonal allergies to pollen so opening up these homes with left over pollen in it my nose is not very happy. I try not to touch my face as well to keep the problem from being worse.
But honestly id rather clean the homes this way compared to ripping open the bamboo homes and having everything go flying from the tension. With thousands of these cocoons I am really looking forward to seeing hatch, which will confirm I am doing this the right way. As I always feel weird going into their homes and harvesting the little fragile cocoons.
I try to pick them by hand to minimize any damage to the cocoons with the little bee inside.
Not sure if it really helps but I knock out the cap the front of the home, so I do not crush the cocoons against the wall as I use the screwdriver to dislodge them.
I am amazed how deep they are filling these homes, really impressive. And the long channels will help encourage more female mason bees to be produced.
Maybe I will find a better way, but I see others using similar tools to dislodge them so I must not be that far off from how its suppose to be done.
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