Red Mason Bee (Osmia rufa)
Achievements of the BioDar company enabled verification of the view about little importance of solitary bees in pollinating plants. As a result of long-term tests as well as constant improvement of constructed devices, there was namely introduced a complete and standardised system of breeding, which guarantees great effectiveness and ease of breeding mason and leafcutter bees (Megachilidae).
This innovative method makes possible acquiring the bees in an profitable way and in the same time maximally beneficial to their development. It was achieved thanks to limiting the most laborious activities, standardisation of the used devices and the use of materials accepted by these insects.
Advantages resulting from the implementation of the BioDar System:
- Facilitating the colony formation and the production of a high quality biological material
Completing the nesting arrangement is very easy, and its layered structure enables the fast inspection of all levels.
- Significant limitation of the labour-consumption and costs of the bee breeding
In the traditional manner of breeding, common reed stems are most often used as a nest material; it is not possible to take cocoons out and select and disinfect them without destroying the nests, which involves the need of preparing or purchase of the reed every year.
- Increasing the work safety while taking out cocoons of nests
While reed tubes are torn open, a lot of mould fungal spores, grains of clay and remains of pollen unused by bees is getting to air. Staying in such an atmosphere can cause allergic reactions manifesting itself in headaches and itching mucous membrane of throat, eyes and nose. Applying the new method is not posing such a risk.
- Getting a high percentage of females in filial generations thanks to breeding mason bees in nesting trays with the optimum diameter of nest channels.
Functional and technical aspects of breeding Megachilidae bees using BioDar System
Complete breeding set consists of:
- Nesting box in a form of chest equipped with a carry handle
- Nesting trays set (35 units), in which the females of mason bees build nests
- Cover protecting channels with bees
- Cocoons release box
- Mason bee cocoons
The "hive" box with nesting trays constitute the body of the BioDar System. The box is built of wood, which is a durable, aesthetic and very well accepted by the bees material. Moreover, it has good acoustic and thermal insulation properties, positively influencing the course of biological processes in the nest arrangement. Maximum weight of the box with the nesting trays entirely filled up with food for larvae and with bees is not greater than 6.5 kg. The nesting boxes are secured with eco-friendly varnish, protecting them against climatic and habitat adverse conditions (great humidity, microbiological disintegration).Nesting trays
In the BioDar System all the aspects of the bee breeding economy are based on one key element, which is the nesting tray. This type of nesting arrangements was developed as a result of long-term tests and verified in field conditions. Using nesting trays is a novel solution and a step forward towards other nesting materials and manners of solitary bees breeding (see development works). A possibility of using the same nesting trays in many consecutive breeding seasons is a basic advantage.
The nesting trays are made of thermoforming film used for food packaging production. This material is well accepted by bees, both at a stage of settling channels as well as transforming larvae into next developmental stages. The trays put together in a form of packages have two-ply sidewalls along the nest channels enabling temperature stabilisation inside the nests. The optimum length and the diameter of nest channels are adapted to the mason bee females requirements while laying eggs. Using the trays of the same dimensions during the whole breeding process makes possible the unification of the remaining equipment, which is an essential factor of the comprehensive development and the organization of the entire system.
The nesting trays offered by the BioDar company are legally protected (UP-RP/W.120675).
- Cover protecting channels with bees
Applying the cover aims at protecting nests against insectivorous birds and troublesome parasites of the mason bee (it should be mounted right upon completion of flights of bees, and taken off before selection of cocoons).
- Cocoon release box
The box is used to give shelter to the cocoons, for the incubation of bees and elimination of parasites. It is built of wood, and its internal structure prevents parasites, which can occur in the bee cocoons, from coming out (e.g. bee fly Anthrax anthrax).
- Red mason bee cocoons
The red mason bee cocoons offered for sale descend from the reproductive material collected in the south and central Poland in 1989. At present, bees of this species are multiplied on the area of the own breeding apiary and in cooperating households. The adopted manner of the mason bee breeding and strict criteria of the cocoons selection guarantee obtaining the biological material of the best quality. Cocoons are sold in winter and spring months (from January till the half of March).
A handy tool designed for the precise and simultaneous taking cocoons out of many nests, without exposing them to crushing. Using the separator makes possible thorough cleaning the channels from remains of clay and pollen and acquiring the mason bee cocoons from the nesting trays on average 9-times faster than from the stems of reed.
Basing on the long-term tests, we can assure you, that the BioDar company delivers general-purpose, long-lasting and handy nesting arrangements, with all labour-saving accessories, which render the bee breeding profitable and successful.