We provide an option to rent solitary bees because we want to offer a way for people to interact with and foster native bee populations but not have to worry about doing the work the rest of the year. Once you return the bees in June, we put them in our storage facility and keep them at a constant warm temperature to support their development through the summer. We do this to keep them protected from the parasitic mono wasp, as well as to make sure they do not over heat during the summer.
Once they are fully developed by September in cocoons, we will open the blocks and wash the cocoons. This insures there are no mites, bacteria, or fungus that could decrease the survival rates of the bees. The blocks are sanitized and the cocoons are moved into cold storage for the winter. If all of these steps are not taken, many of the bees will not survive or the following year will be more likely to spread disease.
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 for a fraction of the cost we want to provide an accessible source. Many of the bees that are propagated through our rental program are then utilized the following year to pollinate fruit trees for local orchards that then end up in our grocery stores. 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.