Our Native Bees are extremely efficient pollinators and are an excellent supplement to honey bees as pollinators of our food supply. You can help increase our native bee populations by providing Native Bees with healthy nesting sites and habitats.
One way to do this is to provide a solitary bee house/hive in your garden to encourage our native bees to nest.
Creative Woodcraft in consultation with New Zealand Entomologist Dr Barry J. Donovan, has produced a solitary bee house/hive that offers a selection of four diameters of nesting hole has the capacity to host six species of bees and three or more species of wasps.
These types of bees do not swarm, are gregarious and safe around children and pets, they are naturally attracted to the holes in wood and the Solitary Bee House/Hive provides a habitat that has become harder for them to find in modern gardens today.
By beginning with leafcutter bees (Cocoons can be purchased) which will emerge from the solitary bee house/hive there is a very high probability of nesting action from at least one species in the first year, and the potential for more species to appear later.
All species of bees visiting flowers will be enhancing the level of pollination. All the species of bees that will inhabit the solitary bee house/hive are of no threat to New Zealand’s butterflies with the exception of one species of wasp that is of great benefit to the home gardener and orchardist as it will assist with the removal of leafroller larvae helping reduce damage to some leaves and fruits.
For those who don’t like spiders the mason wasps will be seen as beneficial, but of course spiders catch a good number of insects that can be damaging. All told, if even just a few of the species of bees and wasps inhabit a solitary bee house/hive, there should be plenty of activity to observe and entertain.
www.creativewoodcraft.co.nz offers a very informative free e-book BEES to download explaining in detail about each type of bee that would potentially inhabit this solitary bee house/hive. This is a very effective and natural way to increase both yields and crop sizes.