how to & materials
Native bee houses are like bird houses, they provide healthy places to nest for hole-nesting bees. Crown Bee's products are made with local, natural materials and they are designed with expert knowledge to ensure bee health. Each bee species needs a nesting site that is just right for them and our nesting holes are made to be opened for the safe harvest of cocoons.
These are the products that we recommend that provide a variety of nesting hole sizes:
- Pollinator Pack
- Invitabee - Mason bee attractant
- Native Bee Guide
- Coming soon:
- Pollinator Bundle
If you want to build your own house using found nesting materials remember these guidelines: natural, local, and can be opened for cocoon harvest. To learn more about why we do not recommend drilled blocks of wood, bamboo, or plastic straws, read more here
What native bees need
90% of our native bees live a solitary, not a social, lifestyle. Most solitary bees do not fly far from home, for example, a mason bee will only venture out about 300 feet from their bee house. Such a short flying range means that bees need these vital things close to home:
- Flowers for nectar and pollen. Native flowers are best for all bees. Consider adding some new flowers to your yard this year.
- Natural end-cap building material. Each bee species uses something different like mud, resin, leaves and even the fuzz from lamb's ear leaves.
- Sunshine for energy. Install your bee house in a spot that gets morning warmth. All bees are cold-blooded and need the sun to get going.
- Variety. Try setting up a bee house in your yard and another one in a different location like a forest edge. Each bee species has a different set of needs and you may find something interesting a block or two from your own home.
Start collecting notes now
If you've raised mason and leafcutter bees before, you've probably already seen some interesting guests that were attracted to your bee house. The Native Bee Network will provide you with an online journal for jotting down how many cocoons you raised (including mason and leafcutter), observations and vital information about your bees' characteristics. Take photos of your interesting bee cocoons and keep an eye on these bees and note when they emerge. Coming soon, the bee profiles will store information about their preferred nesting hole size, capped end materials, color, shape, etc. Simply jot down whatever interesting facts you think will be useful for knowing how to raise wild bees.
- Photo tip: a size reference gives context. Take a cocoon photo next to a dime or ruler.
Spread the word
Knowing our wild native bees is the very best reason to participate in the NBN. Raising native hole-nesting bees opens our eyes to the needs of all other bees, too. Supporting and improving our native bee population will give us a variety of healthy bees that will help us grow healthier, better, and more food in our gardens and on our farms. NBN is an exciting project and we're planning on making it a meaningful way to save the bees. We're looking forward to having fun contests like giving a bee a common name so that it has more than its scientific name.
Let your friends and family know about the Native Bee Network. Anyone, anywhere can raise native bees.