5. How to Raise Summer Leafcutter Bees

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5.3 Release Leafcutter Bee Cocoons

5.3 Release Leafcutter Bee Cocoons

Releasing cocoons simply means placing cocoons into the bee house.

Adult bees will emerge from their cocoons and find a nesting hole to claim on their own, no need to place cocoons into the nesting holes. You can release cocoons once the bee house is installed, the nesting holes are placed, your flowers are blooming, and the temperature is right.

Pro Tip: For smaller bee houses like our BeeHaven and BeeHut, remove a few loose nesting holes to provide space for the bag of leafcutter cocoons.

Leafcutter bees hibernate as larvae inside of their protective leafy cocoons and they need warm temperatures to develop into adult bees, this is called incubation. Leafcutter bee cocoons purchased from Crown Bees are incubated until adult bees emerge and they will be ready to fly within a few days of arrival. Leafcutter bees begin to emerge from their cocoons around 75F/24C and with cool weather it can take up to three weeks for all of the cocoons to emerge.

  • When you receive your purchase of leafcutter bee cocoons, release them as soon as they arrive. Our leafcutter cocoons are incubated and ready to emerge.
  • Release your harvested leafcutter bee cocoons when you have open blossoms and consistent daytime temps of 75F/24C or warmer. 
  • Intact cocoons can’t regulate their temperatures above 90F/32C, bring them indoors and release adult bees as they emerge (in the early morning) untilweathercools.
  • To increase the number of nesting female bees, first apply InvitaBee Spray for Leafcutters scent attractant to the front of your nesting holes.
  • Place cocoons on top of your nesting holes and towards the back. Keep cocoons out of direct sun.
  • Leafcutter bees will emerge within 1-10 days at 80F/27C. In cooler or overcast weather, it can take up to three weeks for leafcutter bees to emerge.

Leaves are Vital: Leafcutter bees will not nest if they can’t find their preferred leaves nearby. Leafcutter bees make small cuts along the edges of deciduous leaves like those or rose, hosta, lilac, and dahlia. Try planting peas, beans, and strawberries (smooth-leaved varieties are best) for their flowers and as leafy nest-building material.


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