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BeeBasics™ Summer Kit

BeeBasics™ Summer Kit

Summer Alfalfa Leafcutter Bees
Item # 37349

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Pollinate your flowers, nuts, and fruit trees the easy way with Solitary Bees! Honeybees are territorial and require special equipment to handle if you don't want to get stung, but Alfalfa Leafcutter Bees are solitary and much gentler, making them a much safer and more practical pollinator for most gardens.

With the honeybee population in decline, there aren't as many pollinators around as there used to be. If you have noticed that your fruit trees aren't bearing much fruit, many of your cucumber flowers not turning into actual cucumbers, or your re-seeding flowers are failing to come back, your garden might be in serious need of pollination!

Luckily, nature has provided us with an eager replacement: the Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee! Also known as Carpenter Bees or Solitary Bees, these industrious insects are an incredibly practical solution to the pollination problem.

Alfalfa Leafcutter Bees do not form hives or make honey, but instead build one nest at a time, filling it with an egg and plenty of pollen or nectar. To give the larva all the food that it needs to develop, Leafcutter Bees need to gather as much pollen as possible. In their tireless quest to gather as much food as possible for their nests by summer, Leafcutter Bees travel far and wide gathering pollen and nectar from every flower in sight. Their intrepid nature gives them a much broader range of pollination than the honeybee. With no central hive to defend, they wander as far as 300 feet away from their nests, in the process pollinating the same area that it would take 100 foraging honeybees to cover! The plants Leafcutter Bees forage from enjoy a 99.7% pollination rate! Dr. Bryan Danforth, an Entomology Professor studying Colony Collapse Disorder, claims that native bees (like Alfalfa Leafcutters) are three times better pollinators than honeybees because the solitary bees get pollen all over their bodies, spreading it from flower to flower, while the honeybees target just the flower's nectar and keep themselves relatively free of pollen.

And because they do not have a central hive to defend, Alfalfa Leafcutter Bees do not swarm and they are much less aggressive than honeybees. Furthermore, they rarely sting--males don't even have stingers, and the female is less venomous than a honeybee. Its sting is comparable to a mosquito bite and it does not cause anaphylactic shock. This is why you can observe them without the need for any special equipment.

In nature, Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees are named for their habit of cutting up non-fibrous leaves to make their brood cells out of, and they nest in sheltered spots where they can find holes to tuck their brood cells out of. Because they must find the right spot to nest, this provides the perfect opportunity to show your bees right where to go! You can encourage them to nest in your backyard by providing them an inviting nest. Enter the BeeBasics™ Summer Kit!

This Kit includes the following:
BeeHut: A durable PVC tube that makes the perfect shelter for your bees.
Reusable Wood Nesting Trays, which provide inviting tunnels for the bees to nest in, with the bonus that they can be opened and cleaned at the end of the season (as opposed to tubes that are disposable).
100 Summer Alfalfa Leafcutter Bees, a species that emerges mid-season and pollinates fruit and vegetable plants particularly well. They are most active when temperatures are above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and they make their cocoons with non-fibrous leaves. These bees all come from premium Canadian stock. And:
Solitary Bee Booklet, an informational booklet that will tell you all you need to know about raising Summer Leafcutter Bees.
Place your Leafcutter Bee House on a wall that gets warmed by sunlight in the morning. Position it under an overhang to keep the rain out, and at about eye level so you can easily observe your fuzzy friends! You will see busy little pollinators buzzing about your garden in no time!

Dimensions: 9" x 6" x 4". Weight: 1 lb, 1 oz.