Getting started is easy.
1. Evaluate Your Needs.
2. Choose Kit Type / Size.
3. Reserve a Kit.
4. Pick Up your Kit.
5. Choose a Spot.
6. Enjoy their Handy Work.
7. Return the Kit.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Needs.
Do you live on a city lot or where you have acreage? Contrary to what most people believe, the size of your yard doesn't matter to a bee. Tune into the types of plants that exists in or near your yard. Consider a 300 foot circle - the distance these bees explore for food. Do you have plants that bloom in spring or summer? Is there a diversity of plants? Mason bees have favorite blossoms such as fruit trees like apples and pears and native Pacific Northwest plants like the Big Leaf Maple.
Spring Bee or Summer Bee?
Mason bees work on spring blooms (April - May).
Leafcutter bees pollinate summer blooms (July - Aug.)
You may need both or just one type of bee. You don't have to know what type of plants your yard offers, simply remember when things bloom. With that, you can choose between a mason or leafcutter bee.
Step 2: Choose Kit Type / Size.
Based on your evaluation in step one, you've likely decided which type of bee you need (either mason or leafcutter). The next step is to decide on a kit size.
Which SIZE is Best for My Needs?
For the spring bee (mason), you can choose small, medium or large kit. The larger the size, the more bee cocoons are included. Small kits include 50. Medium kits have 100. Large kits have 200 bee cocoons. To know what size your yard needs, download the plant list. Take the list out into your yard. Rotate 360 degrees and make note of all listed plants within 300 feet. If you live in the city you could be looking into your neighbor’s yard next door or across the street. This 300 foot circle is the area that will feed your bees. Lots of choice is preferable; too few pollen plants and the bees may fly away once they've exhausted the nearby plants. But that's okay, you're seeding healthy, native bees into the local environment. As far as which size to pick, if you are uncertain, that's fine, just start with the small kit. At the end of the season, you'll know if you need a larger kit of mason bees.
For the summer bee (leafcutter), we currently only offer a small kit.
Step 3: Reserve a Kit.
Visit our online store. If you are new to our store, you need to setup a shopping account. Click Login or register. For new accounts, click the Sign Up button. Fill in the requested data and click Continue, you will receive a confirmation email from us. Check your Junk or SPAM folder if you don't receive it immediately.
Return to the Rent Mason Bees online store. Begin shopping. When you find the kit you need, click Add to Cart. When you are done shopping, click the Cart icon in the upper right to proceed to checkout.
Step 4: Pick Up Kit.
Shipping is not available. Bees are offered for pick up seasonally (end of March for mason bees; early June for leafcutter bees). A couple weeks prior to beginning of pick up window, an email will alert you of the pick up dates and locations. You can select a convenient location to come get your bees. They will be held for you. It is important to pick up on one of our scheduled dates otherwise, the bees don't have a home and no refunds can be provided.
Step 5: Pick a Spot.
To determine where you will hang the nesting box, look for the sunniest place to allow rays to shine on and (if possible) into the house.
+ On a south or southeast facing wall.
+ On the wall of a garage or garden shed or house.
-Trees may shade, be too cool, and have movement on windy days.
Step 6: Enjoy their Handy Work.
When the weather is sufficiently warm, the bees will emerge and begin flying to and fro pollinating like crazy. The plants in your yard will benefit. We always love hearing from the many gardeners about their increased bounty. Tell us about your experience.
Step 7: Return the Kit.
After 6-8 weeks of pollinating, the bees have concluded their pollination duties and life cycle.The nesting block now contains the next generation of bees in the form of eggs. You will receive an email from us alerting you to the return dates and locations. At the scheduled time, follow the care instructions for returning the kit.