With a BeeGAP membership your receive 75 healthy gentle natured leafcutter bees each year helping BeeGAP raise leafcutter and solitary bee numbers. While raising leafcutter and solitary bees in your garden, not only receive fantastic pollination benefits for your fruit, vegetables, trees and crops, but also help BeeGAP secure and grow the population of these wonderful alternative pollinators for New Zealand gardeners and growers now and in the future.
BeeGAP has recently designed and produced a “BeeHome” that empasses many of the important features that we deem as important when raising and encouraging leafcutter and solitary bees. The BeeGAP “BeeHome” holds around 200 specially designed nesting tunnels with diameters ranging between 4mm to 10mm. This ensures the “BeeHome” is suitable for many species of solitary and native bees found within New Zealand. The “BeeHome” is a similar size to a bird nesting box and can easily be mounted on a wall, fence, post or balcony. Our “BeeHome” can be purchased via our online store here.
As a BeeGAP member you will receive healthy leafcutter bees that have been pre-incubated for 14 days prior to dispatch to encourage emergence. All our leafcutter bees have undergone the BeeGAP “BeeCare” process which involves professional over-wintering procedure, plus pest & parasite control to ensure bee health.
During spring and summer when the weather warms up, the bees begin to emerge from their leafy cocoons, a mixture of males and females, are ready to pollinate, breed and produce their young ready for the next bee season. In the autumn when the baby bees are hibernating, BeeGAP sends members their BeeCare pack containing replacement nesting tunnels and a pre-paid shipping satchel to returning old nesting tunnels back to team at BeeGAP for the professional BeeCare and overwintering process to begin. During the BeeCare process the BeeGAP team check the returned nesting tunnels for pests and parasites and record your bee statistics. Bee statistics are kept for every BeeGAP member, giving members a way to know exactly how many baby bees by species they have bought into the world at the end of each season. After this, the bees are prepared for over-wintering.
With the bees that are returned to BeeGAP as part of the BeeCare process, BeeGAP is able to increase the population leafcutter bees and offer them to gardens and growers around New Zealand to help with their pollinations requirements. Offering additional pollinators to gardeners and growers is a great way to increase bee biodiversity nationwide and protect the food supply for ourselves and future generations. At the start of the next bee season, BeeGAP will send all active members a new batch of a healthy leafcutter bees ready to raise over the upcoming spring and summer.
Typically BeeGAP members can expect to see that they’ve raised surplus leafcutter bees and contributed to the growth of the leafcutting bee population within New Zealand. Alongside this, members with a BeeGAP “BeeHome” may notice other beneficial native and solitary bees taking up residence within the smaller and larger diameter nesting tunnels. This is great as it helps to increase the population of these bee numbers too as many of them are in decline.
The idea of BeeGAP is to boost New Zealand’s solitary bee population and to help pollinate trees and other plants that provide fruit, nuts, herbs and vegetables. BeeGAP is also committed to creating an additional sustainable pollination option for growers now and in the future.