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Native Bee Network
Your backyard may be home to many unique native bee species.
Your participation can help us answer these questions: which bees are hole-nesting bees, what size nesting hole do they prefer, and when are they active?
HOW YOUR BACKYARD CAN HELP
Individual participation in the NBN program is easy! Set up a nesting site over the spring and summer, observe the filled nesting holes in the fall, protect the nesting holes in an unheated garage or shed over the winter, and place the filled nesting holes out again the next spring.
If you already have your own wild bee hotel or wild bee house, all you need to participate is a Native Bee Network Sticker. Our NBN sticker provides a unique identification number for the national database and NBN Map App.
Individual Program Instructions
- Set up a nesting site made of a shelter and a variety of nesting hole sizes that can be opened. Consider placing a nesting site in your yard and another in a nearby park, meadow, or forest. Look for flower sources throughout the season and avoid high chemical application sites.
- Register your nesting site using the unique number on your Native Bee Network Sticker. Using our Native Bee Network Map App web application, take a picture of your nest site with your smartphone.
- In the fall, retrieve your nesting materials and count the filled nesting holes. The NBN Map App will guide you back to your nest site location.
- Group similar capped ends together and open one reed of each type of capped end. Take a picture of the cocoon or nesting chamber then close it back up with tape or rubber bands. Add pictures and data to your NBN Map App profile.
- The following year, place the unopened, resealed, and empty nesting holes in the same location.
Over time we will learn which wild bee species continually use your nest sites year after year. Prolific and returning bees are the bee species who are excellent candidates for farm pollination.
We ask that you sign up for a minimum one-year long commitment. The data that you share in the fall helps us understand our native hole-nesting bees
LEADING THE DISCOVERY OF NATIVE BEES
The NBN program will work best if you participate for as long as possible because it will take many years to discover bees for nearby farm pollination. Twenty years from now, we hope to raise and supply native bees in organic farms, orchards, and yards to produce significantly more food. Your participation in this program is greatly appreciated!