6. How to Raise Wild Bees & Bee Hotels

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6.6 Manage Wild Bee Nesting Materials

6.6 Manage Wild Bee Nesting Materials

After your first year of supporting wild bees with healthy nesting materials, your nesting materials may be filled with larvae or cocoons of many kinds of wild bees and beneficial wasps. You have two choices for raising your wild bees: leave nesting holes intact or open nesting holes and harvest the cocoons. How to manage the filled nesting materials is up to you and no matter your decision, the nesting holes are supporting wild bees with vital nesting habitat.

Leaving Nesting Holes Intact

You can leave the nesting holes intact and in the early spring place the filled nesting materials into a “moving day” box. During their active season, wild bees and wasps will emerge from the intact nesting materials and should move into the fresh nesting materials you provide. Fresh nesting holes are free of diseases and pests and give your bees the best chance to thrive.

There are conditions when it’s best to leave nesting holes intact - you may have opened a loose nesting hole and found exposed larvae (some bees or wasp overwinter without making cocoons) or you found a beneficial wasp larvae surrounded by their uneaten food stores (insects like caterpillars, crickets, or even spiders). It’s best to close these nesting holes and return them to the BeeGuard Bag until next spring.


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