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Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping

When will my leafcutter bees arrive?

Leafcutter bees are shipped to our BeeGAP members starting from the end of September all the way through to the end of January. The leafcutter bees are pre-incubated for 14 days prior to dispatch to encourage emergence.

How will my bees bee shipped?

Your leafcutter bees will be dispatched via overnight courier, which is tracked and traced with signature delivery. If you address is rural please allow an extra 2-3 days for your bees to arrive.

When will my BeeHome be dispatched?

Your BeeHome will be dispatched the next working day via overnight courier, which is tracked and traced with signature delivery. If you've purchased a BeeHome before 25th September 2019, it will ship on the 26th September 2019. All purchased for a BeeHome after this will ship the next working day.

I've received my leafcutter bees but there's some leafy material in the courier bag?

When you receive your bees there may be a small amount of leafy material in the courier bag. This is NOT your leafcutter bees, just a small amount of leafy nesting material that tumbled during the shipping process and occasionally falls through the small 6mm opening in the bee container. There's not need to save or collect this leafy material - simply discard on your garden or green waste bin.

Leafcutter Bees

Do I need to buy a BeeHome?

If you don't already own a BeeHome we recommend you purchase one to accompany your BeeGAP membership. The BeeGAP BeeHome has been designed to successful raise leafcutter bees, and encourage many other species of solitary and native bee found here in New Zealand.

I already own an old leafcutter bee house do I need to buy a new BeeGAP BeeHome?

The new design of BeeHome which BeeGAP now offers, has the added advantage of including multiple nesting tunnels diameters, and a greater number of nesting tunnels. This allows more opportunity for not only leafcutter bees to nest, but also provides suitable nesting environment for many other solitary and native bee species found here in New Zealand. This is something our previous design didn't offer. With this we encourage all members to include at least one of these new BeeHomes in their garden if they can, as providing habitat for other solitary and native bees is just as important as nesting habitat for leafcutter bees.

My bee cocoons appear empty, has something eaten them?

This is a great sign, it's means your bees have emerged from their leafy cocoons. It's very unlikely anything will eat your bees when they're in their cocoons. If you see cocoons with one end chewed off this is a sign that your leafcutter bee have emerged. The leafcutter bee chews it way out of the cocoons once its development cycle has completed. Once the leafcutter bee has exited its protective cocoon its forages around your garden, provisioning its young - pollinating fruit, flowers, vegetables and trees in the process. Occasionally, you may see a fews ants or an earwig inside your bee house. These insects are just looking for the remains of pollen and nectar left within empty bee cocoons after emerging bees have hatched. It's also very common for a spider to take up residence in a bee home. Speak with any bee keeper and they will tell you the same applies to honey bee hives. The spider rarely causes any issues for the bees, but if excessive webs form over the bee home, just carefully brush them away.

What do leafcutter bees pollinate?

They are generalists and will pollinate whatever they find and like. They pollinate most blossoming garden vegetables and various flowers including: blueberries, borage, carrot, cranberries, legume blossoms, melons, pumpkin, squash, mint, onion, peas, beans, tomatoes, herbs and many more.

Do paper wasps or german wasps cause any issues to the leafcutter bees?

Paper wasps feed mainly on insect larvae (i.e. caterpillars) and some small flies, and have not been recorded eating bees of any kind. Also they don’t invade leafcutter bee nests, so your leafcutter bees won’t be bothered by the wasps. German wasps will sometimes enter leafcutter bee nests where occasionally they eat nectar from cells not yet sealed. However this has only ever been seen rarely.

Billing

When will my subscription renew?

The BeeGAP membership is an annual subscription which renews 1 year (365 days) after initial subscription sign up.

What is member & non-member pricing?

When visiting our online store you might see there is two prices listed for each product. As a BeeGAP member your get discounted "Member" pricing on all products purchased and free shipping. If you are not a BeeGAP member you will not receive the member discount and as such the "Non-member" pricing will apply.

Solitary Bees

Can my BeeHome be used to encourage solitary and native bees?

Yes - the BeeGAP BeeHome has been designed to accommodate and encourage many other species of solitary and native bees as it includes nesting tunnels in various diameters between 4mm - 10mm.

BeeCare

Is BeeCare optional?

Yes, BeeCare is an optional component of your BeeGAP membership. If you wish to utilise the BeeCare process at the end of the bee season, you can choose to use this services from 1st May. BeeCare will check the number of bees you've helped raise as well as record which species of other solitary and native bee you've helped encourage. BeeCare enables members to help contribute their surplus bees back to help increase the overall population around the country, and helps other keen gardeners and future leafcutter bee keepers to get involved. Leafcutter bee numbers in limited here in New Zealand so access to leafcutter bees is limited. BeeGAP is on a mission to change that and that's where you can help us too.

Do I have to use BeeCare at the end of the season?

No, BeeCare is optional for all BeeGAP member. We encourage members to use the BeeCare package at the end of the bee season, and there's no additional costs involved. If you wish to participate in the BeeCare programme, BeeGAP will send you your replacement nesting tunnels along with a pre-paid courier bag for you to return your seasons nesting tunnels containing bees. From here we will check and record bee numbers & species found, treat any pests or parasites and over-winter the bees in the ideal environment. Surplus bees are used to help increase the countries leafcutter bee numbers and enable other keen gardeners and future leafcutter bee keepers participate. Leafcutter bee numbers are very limited here in New Zealand and BeeGAP is on a mission to change that.

Can I use the replacement nesting tunnels provided with BeeCare in an old style leafcutter bee house?

Yes. If you opt in to BeeCare at the end of the season, you will receive replacement nesting tunnels. These nesting tunnels can be used to replace last seasons nesting tunnels if you are choosing to send last seasons tunnels back for BeeCare in the prepaid courier bag included. If you already have a leafcutter bee house with wooden stackable nesting trays, the replacement nesting tunnels can be added to your leafcutter bee house by removing one or two of the wooden stackable trays and placing the nesting tunnels in the newly available space. We recommend adding the additional tunnels to the top and one side of the stackable wooden nesting trays - making sure they are tightly pushed in and are touching the back of the leafcutter bee house preventing the tunnels from falling out. These New nesting tunnels have the added advantage of including multiple nesting tunnel diameters, and providing greater numbers of nesting tunnels. This allows more opportunity for not only leafcutter bees to nest, but also provides suitable nesting environment for many other solitary and native bee species found here in New Zealand.

BeeHome & Bee Houses

I've received my BeeHome but no leafcutter bees?

If you've ordered a BeeHome to compliment your BeeGAP membership, you will receive the BeeHome separately ahead of the bees. BeeHome's are generally dispatched the next working day after placing an order.