Most of our wild native bees are still hibernating as exposed larvae or tucked away in their protective cocoons. Here’s what you can do this month to get ready for another great year of raising wild bees! SET UP THE WILD BEE HOUSE:
- For wild bees, you can follow the same steps we’ve provided for our setting up a bee house for spring mason bees.
- The only difference is that you are providing a variety of nesting hole sizes for wild bees, like the ones that are available in our Pollinator Pack.
HARVESTING WILD BEE COCOONS:Check on any wild larvae or cocoons that you set aside from last fall's mason bee cocoon harvest. A sign that larvae are developing is that they've become pupae, which have the shape of adult bees but lack wings, color, and hair. You can place the pupae into the bee house when their eyes become darker and are gaining pigment.We are still learning about how to care for our wild bees, you have two options:
- Open a few of the filled holes and take note of what you find. Exposed larvae are best left intact but you can also put them into their own small container and check on their development once a week.
- Leave the filled nesting holes intact and let the bees emerge on their own. We know the pests and diseases of mason and leafcutter bees very well but some diseases are species-specific. Follow the tips for intact nesting holes here