6. How to Raise Wild Bees & Bee Hotels

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6.8 Wild Bee Cocoon Emergence

6.8 Wild Bee Cocoon Emergence

Some wild bees overwinter as fully formed adult bees and emerge when the timing and temperature is right for their species.

Some wild bees hibernate as larvae and they need warm temperatures to develop into adult bees, this is called incubation. Each species has their own set of cues that wake them up and tell them when to emerge.

While you wait for your harvested wild cocoons to emerge, place the BeeGuard or CocoonGuard Bag full of harvested cocoons back into your unheated and un-air-conditioned garage or shed. Place them in a location that is easy to monitor and about once a week check for emergence of gnat-sized parasitic wasps and adult bees.

Development in a location with outdoor temperatures will give you the clearest understanding of when your wild bees are naturally active. For example, wool carder bees incubated in our office at 70F/21C started to emerge right around the 4th of July. Incubation in outdoor temperatures may have woken the wool carder bees earlier in the season.

Pro Tip: Take note of when your wild bees emerged and under what conditions they were incubated if outdoor temperatures are not feasible.

Once adult bees start to emerge, you can release the rest of the cocoons by placing them into the bee house on top of their fresh and clean nesting holes.

  • Many beneficial wasps hibernate as large larvae that lack cocoons. You can place larvae in their own CocoonGuard bag and set the bag into the bee hotel when you see them develop into white pupae with darkening eyes. The development of pigment is one of the final stages before they become adults.

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