Gardeners release solitary bees into their yards and rent our nesting blocks for their bees. Harvesting and cleaning the cocoons and blocks is a critical step when hosting your own solitary bees. We realize that some people want the entire year experience of caring and cleaning mason bees, but for those who want to support bees and get their yards pollinated but not worry about cleaning all the mites and predators off cocoons, sterilizing the nesting blocks and storing safely over winter, they rent from us and we take care of the maintenance for you.
Our rental program offers a way to be involved in your community’s food sources and promote healthier urban and rural ecosystems with a minimal commitment. We are able to do this by finding hosts across the United States who want to pollinate their yards and then mail them a solitary bee kit. Hosts release healthy bees back to nature and watch their yards thrive. Solitary bees are one of nature’s best pollinators. They visit over 2,000 blossoms a day and are known for “belly flopping” onto blossoms, gathering pollen all over their bodies which enables them to pollinate 95% of the flowers they land on.
Solitary bees are non-stinging and live and work by themselves. They don’t make honey or live in a hive, which makes them non-aggressive and very easy to care for. They gather their own food, find their own nests and lay their own eggs. Their mandibles aren't strong enough to chew wood, so they utilize holes made by birds or insects to lay their eggs and others prefer to lay their eggs in the provided nesting blocks.
In the fall, once the developing bees have spun their protective cocoons, hosts mail back their nesting blocks back to RMB. The nesting blocks and bee cocoons are thoroughly cleaned and sorted to eliminate pests, including pollen mites, chalkbrood and Houdini flies, that are a threat to native bee species. After all cocooned bees are cleaned, they are safely stored in hibernation over winter.
The following spring, healthy bees are returned to backyard gardens and sent to farmers across the U.S. to help them produce more food such as apples, blueberries, pears, cherries and almonds. One third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees, so you help farmers make more food and reduce the stressful workload placed on honeybee colonies when they work alongside solitary bees.
WATCH HOW WE CLEAN AND CARE FOR OUR MASON BEES