I just received a shipment of leafcutter bees in the mail the other day. Aren’t they neat?
Or I should say, leafcutter bee cocoons. The silken cocoons come encased in the leafy cells the mother bee created when she laid her eggs.
Unlike spring mason bees, which start flying when temperatures reach 55°F, summer leafcutter bees like hot weather and emerge when the weather is consistently in the mid-80°Fs.
We’re moving into a week of warmer weather so I suspect they’ll be waking up just as their mason bee cousins start to wind down. I’ve had my native bee houses hanging in the garden for a few weeks and it’s such a joy to spot the mason bees buzzing around the borage and nasturtiums every day.
I love my native bee houses so much, in fact, that I’ve asked Crown Bees to give one of my readers an opportunity to own a native bee house too!
Owning a native bee house is an entirely different experience from owning a honeybee hive. Unlike honeybees, which live in highly organized colonies revolving around a single queen, native bees are solitary, so every female native bee is essentially her own “queen,” laying eggs and raising offspring without the support of fellow bees. She lives for only six weeks and nests in small holes rather than a hive. These holes can be found all over your yard in natural features like the hollow stems of pithy plants or the tunnels left by wood-boring beetles.
By hanging a native bee house in your garden, you help provide a safe place for native bees to nest and lay eggs. You also ensure that the next generation of bees will survive, since you can harvest the cocoons and clean the nests in autumn.
The beautiful bee house in this giveaway is a handcrafted wooden house called the Raindrop and it’s part of the Complete Raindrop Kit from Crown Bees, which includes the bee house, 80 natural lake bed reeds, 20 bee cocoons, and an accessories package for storing and protecting the cocoons (a $125 total value). This is everything you need to start keeping native bees! (And it couldn’t be easier — see my original post here.)
How to enter: Leave a comment below and tell me what kind of flowers, fruits, herbs, or vegetables you have growing in your garden this season that will feed your native bees, or could use their help being pollinated! To receive an additional entry, follow @gardenbetty on Instagram, and leave a second comment below indicating your Instagram username. You have two chances to win!
The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on Friday, May 1, 2015. Winner will be drawn at random and announced the following week. Good luck!
- Giveaway begins April 27, 2015 and ends May 1, 2015.
- No purchase is necessary. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post.
- Only US residents ages 18 and older are eligible to enter.
- Two entries allowed per person.
- Odds of winning are based on number of entries received.
- Winner will be drawn at random.
- If winner does not respond within 48 hours after time of contact, that entry will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.
By the way, Crown Bees is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for native bee education. One of their perks is a Mother’s Day special that includes a bee cabin with wooden trays and leafcutter bees, and it’s offered at a discounted price off retail. They will expedite shipping in time for Mother’s Day — a great gift to consider for your garden-loving mom, aunt, friend, or even yourself!
This post is brought to you by Crown Bees. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Garden Betty.
Update: A big thanks to everyone who entered!
This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Anat from Arizona.