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BeeWorks Chalet or Cottage

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$164.95

Availability: In stock

Short Description

Our deluxe dual season kit is designed for the avid gardener desiring a rich look. Hard goods ship at time of order. Bees ship in season.





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$164.95

SPRING Mason Bees available February—April

  • • Release spring mason bees when daytime temperatures are consistently 55°F (13°C) or warmer AND there are open blossoms for your hungry bees.
  • • Cocoons can be refrigerated until the appropriate conditions exist for release.
  • • Place cocoons outdoors by May 1 to help ensure that bees emerge in good health with sufficient energy to begin their work.
  • • NOTE: Spring mason bees are not recommended for AK or gulf regions of FL, AL, MS, LA and TX. Current agricultural restrictions prohibit the shipment of mason bees to the state of HI, and other countries outside of the continental United States.

KEEP BEES SAFE

  • • A hot mail box can be harmful to developing or emerging bees. If you are not home during the day to retrieve your bees, consider having them shipped to your workplace.
  • • Select the Monday when you would like your bees shipped, allowing 1-5 days for delivery. When the bees ship, you will receive a USPS tracking number by email.

DISCLAIMER

  • • We care about your success and do our best to provide healthy bees. While most customers successfully raise gentle bees, it is important to understand that bees are wild insects and may not nest in your yard, may be eaten by birds, and may not emerge from their cocoons. We cannot guarantee survival, pollination of crops, or reproduction of bees.
  • • These bees are gentle, typically non-aggressive and rarely sting, While there have been no known reported cases of anaphylactic shock in association with these bees, the use and handling of solitary bees may result in allergic reaction for some users.
  • • Please consider signing up for BeeMail, our monthly newsletter, designed to provide tips and reminders to help ensure success.

SUMMER Leafcutter Bees available May—August

  • • Summer bees require temperatures of 75°F (24°C) or warmer AND sufficient sources of pollen/nectar for best performance.
  • • We incubate your summer bees so they arrive ready for immediate placement outdoors.
  • • If you are seeking pollination for your flowering summer vegetables, consider when these plants will flower. A seedling planted in April or May may not produce flowers until June or July.
  • • Current agricultural restrictions prohibit the shipment of leafcutter bees to the state of HI, and other countries outside of the continental United States.

KEEP BEES SAFE

  • • A hot mail box can be harmful to developing or emerging bees. If you are not home during the day to retrieve your bees, consider having them shipped to your workplace.
  • • Select the Monday when you would like your bees shipped, allowing 1-5 days for delivery. When the bees ship, you will receive a USPS tracking number by email.

DISCLAIMER

  • • We care about your success and do our best to provide healthy bees. While most customers successfully raise gentle bees, it is important to understand that bees are wild insects and may not nest in your yard, may be eaten by birds, and may not emerge from their cocoons. We cannot guarantee survival, pollination of crops, or reproduction of bees.
  • • These bees are gentle, typically non-aggressive and rarely sting, While there have been no known reported cases of anaphylactic shock in association with these bees, the use and handling of solitary bees may result in allergic reaction for some users.
  • • Please consider signing up for BeeMail, our monthly newsletter, designed to provide tips and reminders to help ensure success.

Description

Details

BeeWorks Chalet or Cottage Kit Includes:

  • Chalet House, cedar wood (10 1/4" height x 10" wide x 8 1/2" deep)
  • OR Cottage House, cedar wood (10 1/4" height x 7.5" wide x 8 1/2" deep)
  • 24-hole reusable alder wood tray for mason bees
  • 52-hole reusable wood tray for leafcutter bees
  • 20 mason bee cocoons acclimated to your region
  • 100 leafcutter cocoons incubated and ready to emerge
  • InvitaBee attractant for summer leafcutter bees
  • Native Bee Guide: our step by step 26-page booklet
  • Total Accessories Package:
    • HumidiBee: humidifier for overwintering mason bee cocoons
    • InvitaBee Plus: exclusive mason bee pheromone attractant
    • BeeGuard Bag: fine mesh bag for protecting developing cocoons
    • Mason Bee Mud: dry mud to mix with your soil to enhance spring mason bee production
  • Instructions

Chalet House Features:

  • Natural cedar wood sealed with protective clear coat finish.
  • Peaked roof to drain excess rain.
  • 2″ overhang helps protect nesting material from rain.
  • Keyhole slot in back for easy installation and removal.
  • Can be placed on secure shelf or mounted to wall or fence.
  • Convenient cocoon release shelf (attic area) under the roof.

Cottage House Features:

  • Natural cedar wood sealed with protective clear coat finish.
  • Curved roof to drain excess rain.
  • 2″ overhang helps protect nesting material from rain.
  • Keyhole slot in back for easy installation and removal.
  • Can be placed on secure shelf or mounted to wall or fence.

BeeWorks Chalet or Cottage Kit ships year round. Chalet or Cottage House, nesting trays, booklet and accessories ship at time of order. Bee cocoons will ship in season on dates selected.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Instructions

Placement of Chalet or Cottage Bee House

  • Hang the house on a wall or fence, or place it on any flat surface. A convenient keyhole opening in the back of the house makes it easy to mount on a structure using a nail or screw.
  • Select a location that faces the early morning sun to awaken and warm your bees.
  • Position the house height at about 5-7 feet above the ground so you can still view activity, and protect your bees from pests. If you have a bird house, position your bee house out of its line of sight.
  • Locate the house within 100 - 300 ft. of a pollen source.
  • Dig a hole and keep moist mud near the house. Your female spring mason bees need mud to build their nests. Without mud, they will fly elsewhere and not nest in your house. Note: mud is not needed for summer leafcutter bees.

Blue Orchard Mason Bees

Your bees will arrive safely tucked away in their cocoons inside a small cardboard box. Feel free to open the box to take a peek at them. If you pour them into the palm of your hand, you will see a combination of larger cocoons (females) and smaller cocoons (males). Cocoons must be stored under refrigeration to prevent them from waking up from their long winter's nap before spring has actually sprung.

Return the cocoons to their carton/box, or you can transfer them to a slightly larger container.  Be sure the container has small air holes. 

If outdoor conditions are not optimal (meaning that daytime temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees, freezing conditions at night), store your bees in the refrigerator. The cool, dark environment of your fridge is an important factor in keeping your bees in a state of hibernation. You will also want to keep the container somewhat moist so the cocoons do not dry out and die. DO NOT SOAK the container. (Consider using our HumidiBee (cocoon humidifier) to assist with your bees’ hibernation.)

Also, to be safe, place a cotton-ball, soaked in equal parts of sugar and water, inside the container with the cocoons. If any of the bees (typically the males) hatch early, they will have a ready food supply to sustain them.

When daytime temperatures have reached about 50-55°F, you can place the box containing your bee cocoons (with the top open) outdoors with the house and nesting trays. Place the carton or container on top of, or behind the nesting material with the top or lid open or removed.  The bees will emerge from their cocoons, crawl over the nesting material and head out into your garden, orchard, or yard. Cocoons can also be placed in the attic of the Chalet House.

Please note: In addition to warmer daytime temperatures, there must also be sufficient pollen available (blooming trees/shrubs/flowers) for your new bees. Try to avoid holding your spring mason bees in hibernation past May 1st as they will begin to die in their cocoons or may emerge too weak to fly and forage.

 

Leafcutter Bees

The leafcutter bee overwinters as a larva within its leafy cocoon. Rather than have you wait for 4-5 weeks for them to emerge, Crown Bees has incubated the bees for you and will mail them to you ready to be placed outdoors.

When they arrive, some of the bees may have emerged and may be crawling in the LeafGuardian protective bag. This is perfectly fine. If you prefer, place the bag of bees into your refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool them down. Then open the bag and place the open bag on top of the 52-hole tray or in the chalet attic.

These bees will find pollen and non-fibrous leaves to cut neat circles in for nesting within the trays.

 

24-Hole Reusable Wood Trays

Placement of wood trays in bee house
      1. Your wood trays will arrive with green elastic bands around them to hold the trays together. Leave these bands in place and reuse them in future use.Note: Cardboard on back of trays is for closing off the back side of holes and should not be removed. This will help to keep pests from gaining access to nesting females and their eggs.
      2. Place wood tray set in Chalet or Cottage mason bee house with open holes facing out.
      3. Put the trays out in Mid-March or early April when daytime temperatures are approximately 50-55ºF or higher and pollen sources (trees/shrubs/flowers) are beginning to bloom.  Emerging bees, looking for a place to call "home," will also be hungry after their long hibernation.
      4. Place the trays as far back in your mason bee house as possible to protect the trays and bees from direct rain.
      5. Females find their hole initially by sight and then by smell as they crawl into it. They will only lay eggs in their own claimed holes.
      6. For best success, provide a 3-D effect, or messy palette with your trays. Vary the length of individual tray. Place a stick, or similar object within a few holes to help the bees find their specific hole.
      7. Remove one InvitaBee™ attractant sheet from cellophane package when mason bees are nearing emergence. Place one scented InvitaBee™ attractant cloth under strapping of wooden nesting tray with approximately 1/2" to 1" of the sheet exposed. Place mason bee cocoons on top of, next to or behind nesting material. After 3 weeks, add the second attractant sheet to nesting material being careful not to disturb the holes of nesting females. Leave both sheets in place for the season. Discard attractant sheets at beginning of summer when mason bee activity has ceased and nesting material is removed from bee house.
      8. Place the cocoons behind or on top of the nesting reeds and inside the house. As the bees chew their way out of their cocoons, they will crawl across the nesting trays and then fly. Add the mason bee scent sheet (InvitaBee) on top of the nesting trays to help draw them back home.
      9. When spring mason bee activity has ceased (early to mid-June) remove the spring nesting trays from the bee house and store in a garage or well ventilated shed (see below).

Summer Storage of Nesting Material

Store the spring nesting trays with mudded holes facing up.  We recommend storing the trays in a BeeGuardian bag or other sack or container that will allow air to circulate and will help to keep pests out.  Typical summer temperatures will help developing larvae to mature into fully formed adult bees.

 

Fall Harvesting and Cleaning & Winter Storage of Trays

      1. Separate trays one at a time, removing cocoons as you go.
      2. Carefully scrape cocoons from wood channels to avoid crushing them. The shaft of a flat head screwdriver works well to gently push cocoons from the channels. Separate the cocoons from other materials such as pollen and mud.
      3. Clean blocks with a dry scrub brush, restack them, replacing cardboard across back and securing with green bands.
      4. Store trays in garage or shed for use next spring.
      5. Refrigerate harvested cocoons at 34-37° until next spring and put them out with spring trays. If stored in a modern frost-free refrigerator, keep your cocoons in a HumidiBee (mason bee humidity chamber) or the crisper drawer, making sure that they are kept slightly moist.
      6. Both leafcutter and mason bee cocoons can be stored within the HumidiBee. Crown Bees recommends that summer leafcutter cocoons be stored in a cool garage or cellar. Leafy cocoons can have a tendency to mold in refrigeration and moisture.

Changing seasons to leafcutter bees

  1. When spring mason bee activity has ceased (early June or before), remove the 24-hole wood spring bee tray and place it into your BeeGuardian bag for pest protection.
  2. Place your 52-hole summer wood tray for the leafcutter bees into the Chalet or Cottage house.
  3. When leafcutter bees arrive, open the LeafGuardian bag and place that behind the wood tray or up in the chalet attic. Note: if some leafcutter bees have emerged during shipping, place them into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before opening the LeafGuardian bag. This will quiet them and allow for opening and placement of the bag before they fly out.
  4. The leafcutter bees will emerge, crawl over the tray and fly off to begin pollinating your garden!

 

ACCESSORIES 

InvitaBee Plus™

Prior to releasing mason bees or when you are looking to attract native mason bees, squirt InvitaBee container about 10 times onto the front of your nesting holes. The InvitaBee contents can be used for two locations. 

Keep out of range of children

Mix natural reeds included with nesting tubes when initially placing out nesting material in early spring. If using wood trays, natural reeds can be placed on top of or next to wood trays.

 HumidiBee™

  1. Open lid of HumidiBee™ and ensure that the isolating black pad is on top of the green water absorbent blanket in the bottom of the clamshell.
  2. Place unharvested tubes OR mason bee cocoons in HumidiBee™ on top of isolating black pad.
  3. Each month, place about 1-2 tablespoons of ordinary tap water into the chamber. Water can be poured directly over spring mason bee cocoons as the silk cocoons are waterproof.
  4. Close the lid and place the HumidiBee™ in your refrigerator away from the air supply vent that blows in from the freezer compartment. The temperature should be around 38-41˚ F.
  5. After 2-4 weeks have passed, remove the HumidiBee™ from your refrigerator to feel and determine if the green water absorbent sheet is dry, damp or wet. The moisture content of the pad may vary due to the air circulation in your refrigerator which can speed up or slow down water evaporation.  Repeat this process monthly, adjusting the amount of water added and/or the frequency when you next check.  
  6. Moldy cocoons can be a sign that there is too much moisture in the HumidiBee™. Do no panic if you discover mold on your cocoons. Simply remove the mold by giving the cocoons a short 2-3 minute soak in a mild bleach solution (1 teaspoon bleach:1 cup of water) followed by a gentle blotting before they are returned to their winter quarters.  Simply cut back on the amount of water that is added each month.
  7. Note: Be somewhat cautious when storing cocoons in a refrigerator containing ripening fruit that produces ethylene gas. As an example, a garage refrigerator containing delicious apples may need to be occasionally opened allowing gas to escape and fresh air to be introduced.
  8. Your hibernating bees should be able to survive 6-7 months under refrigeration. Be careful about extending the hibernation beyond 7 months (May?) as your bees will be running out of fat reserves on which nature allows them to survive. 
  9. Crown Bees recommends that summer leafcutter cocoons NOT be stored in a refrigerator. Store them in a HumidiBee or other breathable container in a cool garage or cellar. Leafy cocoons may have a tendency to mold in the refrigerator.

BeeGuardian

Simply open the  BeeGuardian™ bag and place larvae filled nesting material inside. Secure the bag closed by pulling the drawstrings. Store the bag and nesting material (mudded holes facing up) out of direct sunlight (a garage or shed works well) in average temperatures for your area. Developing larvae can be left in this protective environment until it is time to harvest cocoons.

Mason Bee Mud

Spring mason bees prefer to gather their mud from the sidewall of a hole in the ground rather than a bowl. The groundwater also keeps the mud relatively moist.

Dig a small hole, about a shovel blade deep/wide. Locate it about 20-25’ (or less) distant from where your spring mason bees are nesting. If you are concerned about frogs or birds eating your mud-gathering bees, place chicken wire or hardware cloth on top with holes no smaller than ¾”.

Mason Bee Mud Mixture Ratio

Loamy or sandy soilNormal looking soilClayey soil
Equal parts of dry mason bee mud and existing soilOne part dry mason bee mud to two parts soilNo need to mix in mason bee mud

In a bowl, mix the dry mason bee mud thoroughly with your soil. Add a bit of water so that the dry mason bee mud isn’t floating in the air. If you add too much, that’s ok as the water will dry out later.

Place an inch thick of mud mixture on the southern side of the hole you dug. This reduces drying out due to sun exposure. Keep the mud on the south side of your hole wet/moist. In dry climates or very sandy soil, water each morning with a hose. Your nesting spring bees will more than likely find this nearby mud.  Good luck with raising these wonderful and gentle bees! (Note: mud is not necessary for summer leafcutter bees.)

 

Native Bee Guide Booklet

Read through this informative booklet to better understand the ease and value of raising gentle mason bees. This booklet contains a broad overview of bees as well as tips on how to create a welcoming environment for native bees and how protect your bees from pests. An easy to read timetable describes seasonal mason bee raising activities and lays them out on a linear timeline. Your success in raising these wonderful pollinators is important to us.

If you have not already signed up for BeeMail, our monthly electronic newsletter, we recommend you do so on our website.

We will instruct you when to do what to help ensure success!

FAQs

Mason bees are mailed February through April 30 of each year.   Mason bee cocoons can be ordered early and easily stored in your refrigerator until daytime temps are in the low to mid-50's (or warmer) AND there are open blossoms readily available for them. Be sure to set out your spring cocoons by May 1 to ensure that bees emerge healthy with sufficient energy to begin their work.

Summer leafcutter bees ship May through August.   Summer bees are shipped USPS, First Class Mail.

Not sure when to have your summer leafcutter bees delivered?  Consider two things.  One:  these bees need daytime temps minimally in the mid-70's and they fly best when daytime temperatures are in the high 70’s or warmer. Two: what are you trying to pollinate? Leafcutter bees are generalists and will pollinate a variety of berries, vegetable blossoms and flowers. If you are seeking to pollinate flowering summer vegetables in your garden, consider when these plants will actually flower. If you are planting seeds or small starts, it may be several weeks before the plants are mature enough to blossom.

Please note: Leafcutter bees take about 3 weeks for us to incubate them from larva to adult bees.  If you request shipping prior to three weeks from the date of your order, shipping will be on a first come - first serve basis.

SKU11070
WidthNo
HeightNo
LengthNo
Free ShippingNo

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