Bee-Safe Nesting Materials

Cavity-nesting solitary bees create nests in hollow or pithy stems or holes previously made by wood-boring insects. Many cavity-nesting species will also use artificial nesting materials such as cardboard tubes and nesting blocks or cut pieces of natural materials, such as Phragmites or raspberry stems.

We designed our nesting materials for the health and safety of the bees!

Nesting materials sealed at one end, breathable, thick-walled, and easily opened are the best way to protect bees from pathogens and parasites such as excessive mold, chalkbrood, parasitic wasps, and pollen mites.

Productive bee nests are an array of food resources for pests and parasites! Nesting materials need to be sealed at one end to prevent pests and parasites from entering the nesting chamber from the back. 

When adult bees walk through infected unopened nesting chambers, they can spread diseases and pests throughout your garden and bee house. Opening nesting chambers to remove and manage loose cocoons significantly reduces the spread of diseases and pests - this process is called harvesting. Unharvested nests can lead to substantially lower survival rates for bee larvae.

We know this part can be a little intimidating for beginners, but don't worry, we have many great resources to help you along! Check out our Harvesting Mason Bees and Harvesting Leafcutter Bees articles to learn proper harvesting techniques.

Cavity-nesting bees and wasps are of various sizes, and each species has a preferred nesting diameter. Providing the optimal nesting tube diameter/length size can improve nesting activity.  

We provide a variety of diameters for you to target mason or leafcutter bees specifically or encourage wild native bees of all sizes to take up residence in your bee house. Our nesting materials are 6 in (~152 mm) in length - long enough to attract nesting females and result in the highest number of female offspring. Shorter cavity lengths result in more male offspring and fewer offspring altogether.

Pro Tip: When selecting nesting materials for your bee house, we recommend avoiding plastic straws, bamboo reeds, and drilled wood blocks without paper inserts . These materials are difficult to open, allowing pests and diseases to spread quickly, reducing the number of bees that survive each year. 

SHOP ALL BEE-SAFE NESTING MATERIALS


Crown Bees' Bee-Safe Nesting Materials 

Spring Mason Bee Nesting Materials - 8mm

Spring mason bees prefer nesting materials that are ~8mm in diameter. All of our Spring Mason Bee Nesting Materials meet this requirement.

Wood Trays

  • Our wood trays are long-lasting, reusable, and easy to open for fall cocoon harvesting.
  • We lightly char the front to remove splinters that may damage bee wings. The unique pattern the charring creates helps mason bees relocate nesting holes visually.¬†¬†
  • Interlocking sides and pest blocker backing to prevent pests from gaining access to the nest.

Natural Reeds

  • Natural reeds are visually attractive, and the slight size variation helps females relocate nests.
  • Thick walls and natural nodes to seal the back end prevent pest access.
  • Reeds crack open easily for the safe removal of cocoons.
  • Natural reeds are organic material, therefore biodegradable!
  • Reeds fit into all Crown Bees' houses.

    Cardboard BeeTubes with Inserts

    • Thick cardboard wall + Insert protects cocoons from parasitic wasps.
    • Cardboard BeeTubes are reusable; simply replace Easy-Tear Inserts each year.
    • 100% recyclable.

    Easy-Tear Inserts

    • Easy to open! Just soak in warm water.
    • Inserts should always be paired with Cardboard BeeTubes, Wood Trays, or drilled blocks of wood as they are too thin for protection from parasitic wasps.

    Summer Leafcutter Bee Nesting Materials - 6mm

    Summer leafcutter bees prefer nesting materials that are ~6mm in diameter. All of our Summer Leafcutter Bee Nesting Materials meet this requirement. 

    Wood Trays

    • Our wood trays are long-lasting, reusable, and easy to open for fall cocoon harvesting.
    • We lightly char the front to remove splinters that may damage bee wings. The unique pattern the charring creates helps leafcutter bees relocate nesting holes visually.
    • Interlocking sides and pest blocker backing to prevent pests from gaining access to the nest.

    Natural Reeds

    • Natural reeds are visually attractive, and the slight size variation helps females relocate their nests.
    • Thick walls and natural nodes to seal the back end prevent pest access.
    • Reeds crack open easily for the safe removal of cocoons.
    • Natural reeds are organic material, therefore biodegradable!
    • Reeds fit into all Crown Bees' houses.

      Spring & Summer Wild Bee Nesting Materials - Range from 4mm to 10mm

      Common spring and summer wild bees prefer nesting materials that range from ~4mm in diameter to ~10mm in diameter. Select a variety of sizes to create a wild bee hotel!

      Natural Reeds - 6mm and 8mm

      • Select a mixture of both 6mm and 8mm for wild bees of all sizes!
      • Natural reeds are visually attractive, and the slight size variation helps females relocate their nests.
      • Thick walls and natural nodes to seal the back end prevent pest access.¬†
      • Reeds crack open easily for the safe removal of cocoons.
      • Natural reeds are organic material, therefore biodegradable!
      • Reeds fit into all Crown Bees' houses.

      Cardboard BeeTubes - 4mm

      • Tiny bees use 4mm¬†size holes!
      • Thick cardboard wall to protect cocoons from parasitic wasps. Consider staging 4mm BeeTubes in 6mm Farm grade wood trays. We call this combo "Small Bee Discovery"
      • Easy to open for the safe removal of cocoons.
      • 100% recyclable.¬†

      Pollinator Pack

      • A variety of sizes of Natural Reeds and Cardboard BeeTubes - an instant bee hotel!
      • Natural Reeds and BeeTubes open easily for the safe removal of cocoons.
      • Thick walls and sealed back end prevent pest access.¬†