Currently there is a lot written about the decline in the bee population around the world, including the solitary pollen bee. A variety of efforts are being made to stem this tide, which is why this product, the pollen bee nest, is so timely. This sturdy bee nest has been scientifically designed and is made in Canada from US (60%) and Canadian (40%) recycled materials. It is insulated and moisture repellent using volcanic rock filler, and it can be left in the garden all year. As an added bonus, the volcanic rock filler also guards against predators and mites, keeping the bees safe. You might not think it looks like much, but to the pollen bee it is the Taj Mahal and has been frequently touted as the best bee nest currently on the market.
Each Bee Nest is shipped with illustrated wrap, full-colour information booklet including installation instructions, USDA bee-friendly plant list, nest log card & adhesive Bee Tube Seals. Pollen Bee Nests make perfect gifts for gardeners, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone concerned about supporting the natural environment.
Frequently Asked Questions: Bees & Nests
Q: What are Pollen Bees and why are they so important? A: Native Pollen Bees are also called Solitary Pollen Bees or Wild Bees. Mason Bees are one type of Solitary Pollen Bee. They do not live in colonies with a Queen or worker bees and they do not produce honey. They do the bulk of the pollination in our gardens, parks & forests. They are also responsible for helping pollinate the crops, fruit and vegetables we eat- 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of food we eat required pollination to grow! Native Pollen Bees work more efficiently than Honey Bees at pollinating flowers. They don't travel far, and so focus their pollination efforts on fewer plants. They fly quickly, visiting more plants in a shorter amount of time. Both males and females pollinate flowers, and Native Bees begin earlier in the spring than Honey Bees. Q: Why should I use Pollen Bee Nests in my garden? A: The native bee population used to be able to flourish finding their own relatively safe abodes. This is no longer the case. Increased disease, losses due to predators and most importantly, loss of habitat due to human encroachment have all combined to take an alarming toll on these gentle pollinators. Solitary and native bees (including mason bees) now need our help to stabilize and rebuild their population. Natural nesting sites and simple man-made wooden nests do not provide the same level of protection as these Pollen Bee Nests do. A nesting place scientifically designed to be safer means more bees survive. Q: How do I recognise a Pollen Bee? A: There are many species of Pollen Bee. Some are Bee Flies; some are extremely small. One noticeable difference is that Solitary Pollen Bees are usually covered in short hairs to which the pollen adheres. Wasps and hornets do not have these hairs. Q: What plants should I use to attract Pollen Bees? A: You should provide a range of plants (native & garden) that will offer a succession of flowers through the whole growing season. Plant in clumps of one species rather than scattered around the garden. Herbs and perennials also provide good foraging. Q: Is there anything I can do to help encourage the bees to use the nest? A: Place some soil and a shallow bowl of water with a stone in the middle near the nests. The bees will use these to make mud to plug up the nest tubes. Also, if you put mulch over the soil in your garden, leave some areas free of mulch as the bees need to be able to get to the soil to make mud. Q: Why do I need to put the self-adhesive discs over the filled nest tubes? A: They help prevent pests and parasites from raiding the nesting tubes, greatly increasing the Pollen Bees' chances of survival. The bees will manage to emerge from the tubes with the stickers in place. You can remove the stickers once the bees have emerged. Q: Will the nest attract hornets, wasps & yellow jackets? A: No. Most hornets, wasps and yellow jackets live in colonies with a Queen and Workers so would not use the single nest tubes in our nest. Mud Dauber Wasps, although solitary, like to build their own nests of mud. You will also find that wasps will tend to avoid building their nests near our nests, as they are very territorial. Q: What is the best time to put out the nests and how many nests do I need in my garden? A: The nests should be put out from early Spring to the end of September. As Bees emerge at different times depending on when they were laid the previous year, the nest tubes will be filled at different times throughout the growing season. Allow 1 nest for each 10,000 square feet of area. The following year you will have 50-100 bees emerging throughout the season all looking for a new nest/home. Q: Will rodents/birds/squirrels and small animals attack the nest? A: All the above love eating Bees and their larvae. However, these Solitary Pollen Bee Nests' molded waterproof baffles do a very good job of helping to protect the nest tubes from attack by their predators. Q: Why are there no cleaning instructions with the nest? A: This nest was designed to be mainly maintenance free and still ensure an increase in the bee population. During development, it was found many gardeners did not have the time or preferred not to clean the nest tubes each year. The volcanic rock around the nest tubes keeps the developing bees warm and dry in winter enabling the nest to stay outdoors all year. The rock also helps prevent mites from tunneling from one nest tube to another so if a tube is affected by mites it will not affect the other tubes. However, you will likely have even better results if you invest a bit of time in cleaning the nest tubes out each year. Shortly, we will be offering for sale an Emergence Chamber for those who would like to clean the nest. Q: Are the nests safe around children? A: The Solitary Bees that use our nests will not or cannot sting. They are non-aggressive and tend to fly away from confrontation. This makes the nests an ideal fun and educational medium for your children. Q: What stickers can I use to cover filled nest tubes once I have used up the ones supplied? A: Use a vinyl label to cover the tubes not adhesive tape/scotch tape. The vinyl stickers are a bit stronger and better at stopping the mites, as well as being a bit more weatherproof- won't fall off in the rain/snow.