Our scientifically designed Pollen Bee Nest is more effective than natural or wooden man-made bee nests at providing a truly protective nesting place for native solitary pollen bees. Our nest has been developed to attract a wide variety these gentle pollinators to your garden. The nest tube sizes, the proprietary volcanic rock filler, the specific color and pattern on the outer nest housing– all are the result of extensive research and testing. Inexpensive Solitary Pollen Bee Nests will improve your garden and the environment by supporting the natural life cycle of native solitary pollen bees.
Our proprietary granular rock filler prevents moisture from destroying the nests and developing bees. The filler is also an excellent insulator and allows the bees to overwinter inside the nest. Pollen Bees fill the nest tubes and seal the ends. The nest can be left in place year round, only needing an annual cleaning. One nest can produce 100 - 150 gentle, pollinating bees per year.
The filler also guards against predatory mites and beetles, making it difficult or impossible for them to travel from one nest tube to another. The vented filler plug keeps the filler aerated, further protecting the nest from dampness. With its sturdy weatherproof design our nest can be left outside throughout the year, providing a safe, warm home for the developing bees.
Pollen Bees such as the Mason Bees and Leaf-Cutter Bees that nest in cavities above ground are the most vulnerable to predators and weather. Our nest design addresses these problems. The plastic weatherproof body keeps all the inner components dry and secure. The 20 nest tubes are of different diameters to allow a variety of Solitary Bees to use the nest for their home. The molded, waterproof baffles at the front and back protect the tubes from attack by birds and rodents while also holding the tubes in place.
Each nest includes self adhesive discs to cover the nest tube ends as they become filled. The discs provide an extra layer of protection from predators and weather.
Our nests are designed to be fairly maintenance free, but over time, debris and mites can build up inside the nest tubes. We would recommend an annual clean once you have seen the bees emerge from the nest tubes. To make this easier, an Emergence Chamber is available for purchase. See below for more information on our Emergence Chamber.
Solitary Pollen Bee Nests are constructed from 100% recycled styrene. Material components and packaging are sourced 60% in the U.S.A., 40% in Canada. The nests are designed and assembled in Canada. U.S.A. patent no.8517,793B2. Other patents pending.
The Bee Nests are easy to install. Preferably place the nest in a sheltered south-easterly facing position; Solitary Bees are cold blooded and need the sun to warm them up in the morning. Place the bee nest(s) near the area to be pollinated. Mason Bees need a source of mud close by that they use to seal the egg chambers. If the nest is placed in a dry area, put some soil and a shallow bowl of water near the nest. Putting a stone in the water makes it easy for the bees to land and collect water. Remember to change the water regularly.
A height from 12" to 50" is recommended. Locate the nest on a post, wall or tree using the two nails supplied. Install the nest with a slope of ¼" down to the front. This will stop water from running into the nesting tubes. The nails can be left projecting to obtain the slope.
It is unlikely that the Pollen Bees will start using your nest immediately, but if after a few weeks there are no bees using the tubes, relocate to another area in your garden. Some bees do not completely fill the tubes but seal them further inside so check carefully before moving. The developing bees will stay in the nest tubes until the next year, emerging at approximately the same time that the female laid the egg the previous year.
The nest can be left out year round as the proprietary granular filler will insulate the nesting tubes and keep them dry. If you wish to store the nest in a garden shed, keep it horizontal and place it outside again in the early spring.
During the year as the nest tubes become filled, place an adhesive disc (supplied with the kit) over the occupied nest tube. This will help prevent pests and parasites from raiding it. The bees will chew through the disc when ready to emerge or you can remove at the first sign of warm spring weather.
We have included a list of plants with the nest. This list is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture as being attractive to bees. They have an excellent site with a great deal of information about pollinators, so please check it out: www.ars.usda.gov/oc/br/ccd/index/. Most universities have an entomology department and their websites are also full of interesting information on Solitary Pollen Bees, especially those in your local area.
Each Solitary Mason/Pollen Bee Nest comes with a nest log for recording dates and numbers of tubes used by bees. You can email a copy of your completed Nest Log(s) together with your location to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear how our nests are doing across the country and around the world. Additional Nest Logs can be printed here.
Our Bee Nests were designed to be mainly maintenance free but, over time, debris and mites can build up in the nest tubes. An Emergence Chamber makes our nests easier to clean and allows you to further help out the pollen bees.
An Emergence Chamber is a dark box/cover with a small hole at the bottom that fits neatly onto our nest. It allows the new bees to emerge from the nest but does not allow them to return. Once all the bees have emerged in the spring, the tubes will be empty and ready to clean. TIP: Newly emerged bees will begin looking for a nesting site almost immediately. Placing a new (or previously cleaned) Bee Nest near the one covered by the Emergence Chamber will allow the emerging bees to find a new home right away.
At the end of a season, when all the tubes have been filled or activity has died down, slide the Emergence Chamber over the end of the nest. Leave over the winter and the new bees will emerge 12 months after they were laid the previous year. If you use the nest log provided to note when the tubes were filled, you will know when the new bees will be ready to emerge, leaving the Bee Nest empty and ready to clean. Once you think all the tubes are empty, remove the Nest and Emergence Chamber and take somewhere suitable for cleaning. (If you leave the nest in place to clean, you may find new bees trying to use it before it is clean and dry!)
Cleaning the nest requires reaming out each tube with an appropriate sized drill bit or our proprietary reamer kit. Blow out the debris with an air hose or a gravy baster. Using a pipe cleaner dipped in a bleach solution of one teaspoon of bleach to 8 oz of water, lightly dampen the inside of each tube, being careful not to get them too wet. Allow at least two hours drying time or longer. Once dry, use a pipe cleaner dipped in the proprietary miticide powder to apply a light coating to the inside of each tube. Remove any loose powder by giving a final blast from the gravy baster and the nest is ready for reuse.
Contents of the Emergence Chamber Kit:
1x Emergence Chamber
1x Reamer Set
4x Pipe Cleaners
1x Pk of Miticide
1x New Decal for the original nest exterior
1x Strip of 20 Bee Dots to cover the tubes
1x Detailed instructions about the Emergence Chamber