The starter kit for Leafcutter bees from Crown Bees is called Beehaven and is a super inexpensive way to give raising native bees a try. It is the cheapest kit on their site at only 24.95. This includes a small bee house, paper tubes for the bees to nest in and 30 actual leafcutter bee cocoons. The kit comes with a certificate that you can redeem on the website to get your bees shipped to you when you want them and when they will thrive in your area. As I talked about last time, Leafcutter bees need quite warm weather.
The Beehaven kit is very easy to mount. It is plastic and shaped like a miniature mailbox. The kit also comes with several tubes for the bees to nest in. The instructions suggest putting the bees inside the house with the cloth bag open when you first set it up. However this house is so TINY, that there wasn’t room for all the tubes and the bag on top. I ended up taking out a few of the tubes and sort of shoving the bee bag in. I (hopefully) didn’t squash any of the bees, as most cocoons were empty after about a week.This is what they look like when they arrive in your mailbox.
This is a great starter kit and the very best value on the Crown Bees site. If you want everything to arrive at once and don’t want to spend much, this is perfect. However, this particular bee house felt a little small to me. Also the shape of it seemed to shield some of the sun from getting directly into the tubes. I would suggest either making your own, perhaps like I did here, or buying one of the roomier bee houses like this one. This is especially true if you’d like to add more tubes at some point or use it in the spring for Mason bees.
I always recommend spending a bit of time on the Crown Bees site. It is chock full of great information.
As always, thanks bees!