Bees, a bee house and nesting materials are required for successful pollination with solitary bees. Answer the questions below to find out which materials will work best for you. *Note- our recommendations are for the minimum number of bees and nesting materials required for plants being pollinated. If you want to have room to expand and grow your bee population you may want to get the next house size up.
Determining which solitary bees to get depends on what types of plants are being pollinated. All of our solitary bees are generalists and will pollinate whatever blossoms they can find. The big differences in the bees are when in the growing season they are out pollinating. Some bees are out in early spring and others won't be pollinating until mid- late summer.
If you have berries then Texana Bees are the ones for you. They are nick named "the berry bee" after all. To read more about Texana Bees click here.
Most vegetables bloom in the summer months, making alfalfa leafcutter bees the best bee for the job. Their name is descriptive of the small holes they cut in the leaves of plants. They use the leaves to build the cocoons for their offspring. They do not destroy the plants but there will be some evidence of their presence. It is worth the small holes for the superior pollination. Better pollination = better tasting and bigger fruits and veggies after all. To read more about leafcutter bees click here.
Flowers are best pollinated by summer time bees. The bees we consider summer time bees are the alfalfa leafcutter bees and the sunflower bees. Either type of bee will pollinate your flowers well. However, some flower growers do not appreciate the small holes cut out of leaves from the alfalfa leafcutter bees. If this is the case then sunflower bees might be a better option. They use mud to build their cocoons and do not leave any holes.
Personally our belief is that phragmite reed tubes and wood laminates are the best options for solitary bee nesting materials. Here is an in-depth post about the pros and cons of all the nesting materials available.
When determining which size of bee house to purchase it is best to look at how many bees are going to nest in it. We find it best to have at least 5 empty holes for each bee. That way there is room for the bees to reproduce. If there is not adequate nesting materials available the bees will leave to look for a new nesting site.
Remember that it is ok to have multiple species of solitary bees in the same house. Meaning one house can have both spring and summer time bees. Just be sure to have enough empty holes for all the bees to have room to reproduce.
The house should be with in a 100 yards of the blossoms needing pollination. If you have an orchard and vegetable garden that are further than 100 yards apart we recommend have 2 houses. One by the orchard and one by the garden.
There are a couple of options. One is to order in bulk. Find out more about our bulk options here.
The other option is to order two or more houses to create enough nesting space to accommodate for the number of bees you need. Call 801.648.9035 with any further questions.