At Rent Mason Bees 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 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.
Please visit our store to learn more about our mason and leafcutter bee kits.
You Rent… We Clean. Watch our Mason Bee Harvest Video:
Please subscribe to our Solitary Bee Community Newsletter and join our BEE-I-P (VIP) elite! Learn about solitary bees and how to care for them, get informed on when to pre-order your mason and leafcutter bees and receive coupons and sneak peaks before we let everyone else know.
We promise not to bog your email down and we will never share your information. Join Today!
Maria McCauley says
If I bring the colony into the basement, won’t they be flying in my basement???
Thyra McKelvie says
You need to put you mason bees outside right away. If you also got leafcutters, you swap that block out for the mason bees in Summer. We’ll send you a reminder and teach you what to do.
Sharron Rasmussen says
Questions- are these bees in any type of conflict with other beneficial insects? I have found a few bees making nests in nail holes in my work bench and in holes in my concrete ( horizontally situated and have seen one or two stuffing leaf bits into the holes.) Are these mason bees? What if you fail to have a thriving population ( how
responsible are you monetarily?) How much does it cost to send the nest back to you?
Morgan Dunn says
Hi Sharron. Bees, and other beneficial insects, cohabitat well together. Our standard sized mason bee kits come with 50-60 bees and leafcutter with 100-150 bees – this is a relatively small amount that doesn’t compete with your local bee populations (as could several honey bee colonies which each contain 20-60,000 worker bees!). It sounds like the bees nesting around your house are likely leafcutter bees, if the nests are stuffed with leaf bits. Mason bees use mud to seal their nests. Other types of cavity nesting bees use leaf pulp, flower petals, soft plant fibers, tree sap, and more.
We provide both spring mason bees and summer leafcutter bees. As per our rental policy, we do not charge or provide refunds for nest blocks that are returned empty. We do all we can to ensure our customers are receiving healthy mason and leafcutter bee cocoons, and we have to let nature take it’s course from there. The cost of two-way, priority shipping locally is around $16.