Increase bee numbers by providing suitable nesting habitat. This encourages solitary bees to take up residence around your garden throughout the year.
Crops that are well pollinated grow fruit and vegetables that are rounder, fuller, larger and sometimes even tastier than under pollinated crops.
Alongside the introduce leafcutter bee, there are many native species of solitary bees found in New Zealand which are highly beneficial to our gardens.
Experience how the wild bees hatch, diligently collect pollen and create their offspring ready for the following year.
With a BeeGAP membership you will receive a starting population of leafcutter bee cocoons in the spring-summer. These bee cocoons are placed inside your bee house to incubate as the weather warms. Ensure your bee house is in a sunny location.
The leafcutter bees will being to hatch throughout the summer. A few days after the males and females leave the nest, and the mating season begins. Leafcutter bees are completely harmless, gentle natured and safe around children & pets.
After the mating season the females build their nests. They collect pollen and nectar for their offspring, provisioning it all within a small cocoon. During this time the bees pollinate wild plants, fruit trees & veges within a radius of up to 800 meters.
Once a nesting tunnel is full, the female will close off the end of that tunnel using either clay, mud, plant fibres or leaf pieces - leaving inside her next generation of offspring. She repeats this process many times throughout the spring-summer.
In late April / early May, it's time to open up the BeeHome, check on our bees and start the over-wintering process. This only takes a few minutes each year and we have an quick easy to follow video with instructions for this.
Through spring-summer all active BeeGAP members will receive their new allocation of leafcutter bees ready for the next season. The cycle repeats - with you helping raise wild solitary bees & gaining pollination benefits in your garden.
Leafcutter bees are fascinating to watch. They are incredible pollinators that will work many crop in your garden. The leafcutter bee is a solitary bee however it's gregarious nature means it likes to nest alongside other bees.
Leafcutter bees carry pollen on their hairy underside as they fly from plant to plant gather leaf pieces and pollen to provision their young for the next season. Each leafcutter bee can provision between 15-30 new cocoons during her life time which is typically around 12-16 weeks. Leafcutter bees are great to watch as they are friendly and don't sting.
Leafcutter bees are excellent generalist pollinators which will pollinate a wide variety of fruit, nuts, herbs, vegetables and flowers. Leafcutter bees are a summer pollinator which can will work your garden through late spring and summer.
Unlike honey bees, leafcutter bees will remain reasonably close to their BeeHome and won't generally fly more than 800 meters from their home, meaning your leafcutter bees provide pollination within your garden.