Weather & Timing
Place the leafcutter bee cocoons outside into the bee house as you would during warm weather. We incubate our leafcutter bee cocoons and ship them so that the bees are nearly ready to emerge. The cold weather will slow down their development and it will take longer for the bees to emerge.
How do I pick a bee ship date? Monday Cocoon Shipping Policy: For the health of the bees, we only ship mason or leafcutter bee cocoons on Mondays to ensure that they are not stuck in transit over the weekend. Take a look at your calendar and think about when your orchard or garden begins blooming, these are the target blooms that need pollination.
We strive to process your order within 2 business days and the amount of time shipping takes depends on your location. In general, your order will arrive a day after processing if you live in western Washington. Shipping takes about 2 days if you are in the western US and between 3-4 days if you live in the eastern US.
Please email us immediately at [email protected] and provide us with your order number, name, and shipping information. Let us know what you’d like changed and we may need you to call our office for your credit card information.
We’ve learned that shipping bee cocoons on Mondays is the best policy for the bee’s health. Shipping out bee cocoons on Mondays ensures that the cocoons are not waiting in transit in a warm facility, warehouse, or post office mailbox over the weekend.
Spring Mason Bees: Watch to see if the abnormally warm spring weather caused your blooms to open earlier than usual. If flowers are still closed, keep your bees in the fridge until pollen is available and the daytime high is consistently around 55F(13C). Mason bee cocoons should be released by mid-May. Summer Leafcutter Bees: Intact leafcutter bee cocoons can’t regulate their temperatures above 90F(32C), bring them indoors and release adult bees as they emerge (in the early morning) until the weather cools. Emerged adult leafcutter bees can manage the heat waves.
Your bees will not nest in your yard if they can’t find pollen and nectar. Do not release emerged spring mason bees if your blooms are not open.
Managing your mason and leafcutter bees does not take that long! 15 minutes to install the bee house and release cocoons Hours watching the bees come and go (not a chore!) 5 minutes to remove and protect nesting materials Harvesting cocoons Spring Mason Bees: 30-60 minutes Summer Leafcutter Bees: 15-30 minutes Winter mason bee checkup: about 2 minutes per month to add water to the HumidiBee 15 minutes to incubate summer leafcutter bee cocoons
A hot summer mailbox is an issue for leafcutter bee cocoons because intact leafcutter bee cocoons are unable to regulate their temperature. An automatic tracking number is emailed to you once the USPS receives the package, please pay close attention to the tracking of your bee shipment and retrieve them from your mailbox as soon as possible. Another option for shipping leafcutter cocoons is to have your leafcutter bees shipped to your workplace.
Bees are accustomed to temperature swings, including freezing temperatures at night. Female bees will wait in their nesting holes until the bad weather passes. The male bees wait out bad weather on plants near the bee house. Spring Mason Bees: For bees waiting to be released, hold them in your refrigerator until the poor weather has passed or daytime temperatures return near 55F(13C). One day of cold or stormy weather will not harm mason bees. Summer Leafcutter Bees: For bees waiting to be released, keep the leafcutter bees inside and place the bees outside the morning after the storm passes. Leafcutter bees fly best in temperatures above 75F(24C) but can fly in cooler weather if they must.