Edmonton, Alberta

Pollen Bee Nests

We carry Armstrong & Blackbury Pollen Bee Nests. These are scientifically designed nests approved by The Xerces Society for Invertibrate Conservation. These inexpensive nests will improve your garden and the environment... and are maintenance free!

Why have a Pollen Bee Nest? 

Bees are in crisis. Last year some beekeepers experienced from 30-100% loss of their honey bees. Wild bees (pollen bees) also experienced huge losses, probably due to pesticides and disease. Killing the larva is a little understood mysterious ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder. Chalky Brood Fungus is another killer. Most important is habitat loss due to human activities and developments. All have contributed to the decline of the bee population. We must have bees to help pollinate our crops, plants and trees.

Armstrong & Blackbury Pollen Bee Nests

Pollen bees nesting in cavities above ground are the most vulnerable to predators and weather. This nest design addresses these problems. The nest is weatherproof and the ground, volcanic rock filler around the nest tubes acts as a desiccant to remove unwanted moisture from the bee cells during their development. It also insulates the nests in extreme temperatures. The moulded, waterproof baffles at the front of the nest tubes prevent destruction of the tubes by birds or rodents. The plastic body of the nest keeps the cardboard cell tubes spaced in the granular filler and all the components dry and secure. Insect pests are repelled by putting self adhesive discs over the nest tube ends as they become filled.

This nest offers a safe, readymade home for the pollen bee and greatly increases the bee’s survival rate. It is maintenance free
and can remain in place all year round. It is made from 100% North American sourced material (50% American & 50% Canadian) and is assembled in Ontario, Canada.

There are a number of pollen bee nests on the market but the man made wooden nests with hollow plant stems or molded Styrofoam nests do have many problems which can cause a low survival rate.The Styrofoam nests do not dissipate moisture which causes the larvae (future baby bee) to rot. Wooden nests deteriorate quickly and are also subject to attack by squirrels, birds and parasites.

Will they work in Edmonton? 

The company reports good results in Alberta including the Edmonton Area. There are many types of native pollen bees. Often they are small bees that we don't notice much, like flies. If you have native flowers that are good for bees in your garden, you will attract them. These bees don't go too far from their nest to get food, so having a nest encourages them to stay in your yard, gathering pollen and laying their eggs in the nest. Pollen bees use mud (Mason bees) or leaves (Leafcutter bees) to plug the ends of the nest tubes after they are filled, so keeping a little open damp earth available (without mulch) in your garden will help. 

Put your nest in a Southeast area that gets morning sun, so it is warmed by the sun without getting too hot. Mount your nest in Spring on a stake in the garden or on a fence.

How It Works

Life for pollen bees is not simple; the female has many predators- both birds and insects. With only a short life span of 8 weeks,  providing a pollen bee nest (or two) in the garden will alleviate the initial problem of finding a suitable nest site. To attract the bees to the nest we use a proprietary mixture of pheromone scents. Once attracted the female bee will lay approx 8 eggs in each tube to a total of 25 – 30 eggs before she dies. A year later these young bees emerge to start the cycle again.

Over the last 25 years both honey and pollen bees have been decimated. With losses of up to 30 – 50% each year our nests help to reverse this loss. By providing our safe nests gardeners benefit by greatly increased pollination of their plants as pollen bees are 15x more efficient than honey bees at pollination. As most pollen bees do not sting the nests are an excellent educational medium for young children to study and observe.