NBN Fall Observations

NBN Fall Observations

Here’s the fun part about joining the Native Bee Network:

Checking out the wild native bees and wasps that nested in your site over the spring and summer.

This post is for participants of the Native Bee Network Program. For Fall Harvesting instructions of your Mason Bee cocoons, CLICK HERE

Please repeat these steps for each NBN Bee Nest.



In The Field 

  Use the Native Bee Network Map App on your smartphone to locate and retrieve your registered wild bee house or Native Bee Network BeeHut and all of the nesting materials inside. Be sure to tap "SYNC" before adding any data. Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner to search by your Group Name or NBN Bee Nest.

   For each nest you retrieve, use the NBN Map App to update the "Deployment Status" of each site. Click the edit icon next to your nest and change “Active In Field” to “Picked Up” or if the nest is missing or destroyed, select "Missing". The map pin WILL  CHANGE COLOR according to its status and a new area to input observations will appear at the bottom of the screen.


At Home


Capped End Observations:

   Follow these steps for each unique NBN Bee Nest so that you keep the reeds together with their bee house, or NBN BeeHut, and NBN Bee Nest Number. You will install the reeds and house in the same location next spring.

Working with one NBN Bee Nest at a time, remove the reeds and sort them by capped end type. Each bee and wasp species uses a different capped end material and may combine them: mud, whole leaf bits, resin or sap, white plant fuzz, chewed leaves, grass, sawdust, etc.


   Bundle each similar group of capped ends together with a rubber band.


Enter Data into the NBN Map App

   Open the Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner to search by your Group Name or NBN Bee Nest.

   Using the NBN Map App, take a clear and well-lit picture of the bundled capped end.


Sample Analysis of Each Type of Capped End Material:

   Open a sample reed of each bundle of similar capped ends. Pinch the capped end of the reed between your fingers until it snaps and begins to split. Pry the reed apart along the split.

   Take a picture of the open reed and upload it to the NBN Map App.

   Continue to fill out the form with your observations, then tap "Save". You may have to tap "Save" twice.

   Close the sample reed with tape or rubber band.


   Open samples for each different type of capped ends, click "New" at the bottom of your nest observtion list and enter data for each group.


Store Reeds Over Winter

   Gather the bundled reeds and return them to their bee house or NBN BeeHut (keep the reeds with their unique NBN Bee Nest).

   Place the house and reeds in an unheated outdoor temperature garage, barn, or shed. An opaque storage cabinet or plastic tub (with small air holes) will keep the reeds safe from pests.


That’s it! Please repeat these steps for each NBN Bee Nest. Add a new set of observations by clicking the "New" button at the bottom of the list of nest observations.

In the spring we’ll provide a reminder of what to do next.