Bee Nest!

Scientifically designed. Patented.

Get yours.

Bees are vital for our survival! There are approximately 20,000 species of bees in the world and over 4,500 in North America alone. Bees are present on every continent except Antarctica. Most of us are familiar with the concerns around the non-native honeybees and colony collapse, but native solitary bees are also under threat, and this is why our Pollen Bee Nest is so important.

Our AMAZINGLY DIFFERENT Pollen Bee Nest was developed and tested with partial funding from provincial and federal governments over a number of years before we arrived at the current design. To provide a safe and attractive bee nest we had to answer the following questions:

    How could we make the nest as ATTRACTIVE as possible for the bees?
      COLOUR - Are bees more attracted to one colour over another? We tried a variety of different finishes on the outside of nest, including different colours, and determined that the purple colour pattern seemed to be the most attractive to be bees.
      MATERIALS - What materials that will provide the safest environment for the bee? Though wood is predominantly used in the manufacture of bee nests, we took another approach having determined the many issues that arise with wood nests, including attacks from predators. To eliminate the risks of predators we have opted to use recycled styrene for the outer casing. This styrene casing and the covers at each end of our nest retain the nesting tubes in place, and make it impossible for squirrels and birds to gain access to the bee eggs or bee larvae in the nesting tubes.
      NESTING TUBES - What material should be used for the nesting tubes? After exploring a variety of tubes, including bamboo, we made the decision to use cardboard tubes. Our research showed us that bamboo presented a problem due to the naturally occurring nodes in the bamboo shoot. These nodes result in irregular internal diameters obstructing access to the entire length of the tube. Some native bees require tubes to be a certain length and diameter. We needed to make sure bees could use the full length of each nest tube. We also observed that bamboo and wood can have sharp splinters that may injure bees.
      SIZE - What would be the optimal size of the nest and the nesting tubes? After research we decided that we would use 3 different sizes of nesting tubes to attract different sized bees. There are a variety of bee species in North America and they come in many sizes. The optimal length of the tube was determined to be 4-6".

    How could we make the nest as SAFE as possible for the bees?
      PREDATORS - Bees are vulnerable and often attacked by predators such as squirrels. To avoid this we encased the nesting tubes to the covers at the front and the back of the casing. This means that the nesting tubes stay in place and cannot be moved or accessed by predators.
      WEATHER - The weather also plays a role in the safety of the bees, how could we ensure that the bees are kept as dry as possible? During our research we found that the placement of the nest, and the way the nest is installed on the fence, or tree, play a large role. Bees like a sunny morning and placing the nest with the opening in an easterly direction not only gives the bees the early morning warmth they like, but also faces the nest away from the predominant direction of "bad weather." Also, installing the nest at a slant will help keep the rain from the nesting tubes.
      INSULATION - An extra layer of insulation between the nesting tubes was added in the form of granular volcanic rock. This also serves as a desiccant to keep the nest dry.

Native bees come in all sizes and colours and they can be specialists— meaning they feed on a specific plant, or generalists— meaning they will visit most native flowers. They also require different nesting habitats; some nest in-ground, and some above ground in plant stems, or cavities left in wood by birds or other insects. It's the bees that nest in cavities that will also nest in our Pollen Bee Nest. They include mason bees, leafcutter bees and many other species. Installing our nests provides these bees with a safe nesting site.