7. How to Harvest Bee Cocoons

Ensure Bee Health

7.1 Why Harvest Bee Cocoons

7.1 Why Harvest Bee Cocoons

Harvesting cocoons is the best way to ensure bee health because it prevents the spread of disease and reduces pest populations.

Harvesting cocoons is easy: just open the nesting holes, remove healthy bee cocoons, and leave pests and diseases behind.

Naturally occurring nesting holes are spread across the landscape. Unfortunately, man-made nesting holes are close together and it's easy for pests and diseases to spread. Open your nesting holes to harvest cocoons and provide fresh nesting holes each season.

Top reasons to harvest hole-nesting bee cocoons:

  1. Sneaky, gnat-sized parasitic wasps that lay eggs inside of developing bee larvae.
  2. Chalkbrood, a deadly fungal infection that is picked up on flowers.
  3. Pollen mites, microscopic mites that eat the pollen loaf, starving and killing the bee larva.
  4. Small beetles that enter while the nest is built, eating pollen and bees.

Left unchecked, these parasites and disease can kill your bee house population. All of these threats to solitary bees naturally exist in your garden. Chalkbrood and pollen mites are spread when healthy bees must walk through an unopened and infected nesting chamber. To minimize these problems, harvest your bee cocoons and provide fresh and clean nesting holes each season.

  • Crown Bees nesting materials are designed to be easy to open to harvest cocoons.
  • Harvesting cocoons can be a little messy but it is well worth your time and effort.
  • Harvesting bee cocoons is a great teaching activity for family and friends.

Topic Completion
Pests & Diseases
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