Native Bee Network

Native Bee Network

9.3.4 Tips for Success

Tips for Success with Raising Native Bees including Mason and Leafcutter Bees.

Selecting Bee House Location(s).

Think like native solitary bees when selecting the ideal location to install your NBN nesting site.

Nearby pollen and nectar sources:

Each female bee can visit 2,000 open blooms a day. Are there a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the year nearby?

A wild place free of chemical applications:

Most solitary bees only fly a few hundred feet daily for forage and they may be killed or deterred by the scent of chemical applications.

A sunny location:

Bees are cold-blooded and they prefer morning sun to warm them before they start to fly.

Nearby wild nesting sites:

Native hole-nesting bees nest in standing dead trees, broken stems, and fallen logs and are more likely to move into your NBN nesting site.

Optimal Timing for Installation.

Wild bees and wasps are active throughout the spring and summer. The most optimal time to install your nesting site is before the first blooms open in the early spring (typically daytime highs below 50F). But, installing in early August is better than not installing your site until the following year.

Birds and Other Predators.

To make it harder for birds to remove the reeds, tightly cram in a few sticks between the reeds.

Height and Orientation.

Natural nesting holes exist at various heights and orientation to the sun. To begin, position your nesting house at eye level and facing east. If you have multiple houses, try various directions before you position the house lower to the ground or up higher in a tree.

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