LEARN: 2. Getting Started Buying Guide


2.2 Selecting the Right Bee

2.2 Selecting the Right Bee

Target your pollination needs by choosing the right bee for your garden's needs.

  • Choose mason bees for spring pollination of fruit and nut trees and berry bushes.
  • Choose leafcutter bees for summer pollination of warm weather garden fruits and vegetables.
  • You can raise both bees and ensure your pollination throughout the year.
  • We harvest, wash, and inspect our bee cocoons to remove diseases and pests.

Springtime Pollination

Spring mason bees are gentle, plump, dark-colored hole-nesting bees named after their habit of using clayey mud to build protective walls. Among the first bees to fly in cool, wet spring weather, spring mason bees are perfect for pollinating fruit and nut orchards and berry patches. Mason bees are super cross-pollinators that can double or triple your yield!

Raise Mason Bees to Pollinate:

  • Fruit trees like apples, pears, plums, cherries.
  • Nut trees like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts (filberts).
  • Berry bushes like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
  • Spring-blooming flowers and wild places.

Spring mason bees start to emerge in daytime temperatures of 55F/13C and we ship our spring mason bee cocoons from February through the end of April. Our spring mason bees produce one generation per year and are flying as adults in the spring for about 4-6 weeks. Depending on the location, spring mason bees can be flying from February through June.

What Spring Mason Bees Need:

Summertime Pollination

Summer leafcutter bees are gentle hole-nesting bees named after their habit of using cut leaf bits to build protective cocoons. Classically striped, our leafcutter bees are smaller than honey bees. Preferring to fly in warm summer weather, leafcutter bees are perfect for summer-blooming garden vegetables and fruits. Leafcutter bees are super pollinators that can double or triple your yield!

Raise Leafcutter Bees to Pollinate:

  • Fruit like melons, cantaloupe, strawberries, and raspberries.
  • Vegetables like carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and peppers.
  • Legumes like beans, peas, and alfalfa.
  • To ensure or improve pollination of flowers and seeds.

Summer leafcutter bees fly best when the weather warms to above 75F/24C consistently and we incubate and ship leafcutter cocoons from April until the end of August (a limited quantity of leafcutter cocoons are available in April for warm weather locations). Our summer leafcutter bees can produce more than one generation per summer and this extends their pollination season.

What Summer Leafcutter Bees Need:

  • A bee house to protect from wind and rain
  • 6mm sized nesting holes
  • Minimum daytime temp of 75F/24C
  • Summertime open blooms
  • Leaves of the right texture for building leafy cocoons

Year-round Pollination

Need pollination in both spring and summer? Mason and leafcutter bees are active during different seasons and you can raise both bees using the same bee house. Simply set out the 8mm sized nesting holes for mason bees in the spring and replace with 6mm sized nesting holes for leafcutter bees in the summer. We do not recommend raising both bees together during the same season because the timing for the steps to raise each bee is different. Our all-in-one BeeWorks kits provide healthy bee cocoons, nesting materials, and accessories for both bees.

Topic Completion

Getting Started Buying Guide