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6. How to Raise Wild Bees & Bee Hotels
6.5 Fall & Winter: Remove & Protect
6.5 Fall & Winter: Remove & Protect Wild Bee Cocoons
When the weather cools in the early fall, temperatures of 60F(15C) and below are too cold for most wild bees to fly.
By the fall, bees and wasps will begin to hibernate over the winter. Remove your nesting materials from the bee house to protect the hibernating bees from parasitic wasps, ants, earwigs, birds and other predators.
Gnat-sized parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside of developing bee larvae and they are one of the most common pests for hole-nesting bees. Ants and earwigs are scavenging insects that are also attracted to the nesting holes.
Remove and store the nesting holes over the fall and winter with capped end facing up and protect with a fine mesh BeeGuard Bag. Use a rubber band to bundle loose nesting holes together in groups that have both the same capped end material and the same nesting hole diameter size. Add a paper note with any interesting information you learned about your bee house guests while they were active. You want to mimic nature’s temperatures and fall and winter storage should always be in an unheated and unconditioned shed or garage.
- Group loose nesting holes, bundling similar capped ends and nesting hole sizes together
- Store nesting holes with the capped or open end facing up in a BeeGuard Bag
- Store over fall and winter in a protected location with outdoor temperatures
Pro Tip: To extend the life of your bee house, uninstall and store in your shed or garage over the fall and winter.