Beestra vs other "bee hotels"
Are you planning on live bees or dead bees?
The All-Good Beestra Nursery
The Beestra looks different from all the other bee hotels/nurseries out there.
There’s a reason. The Beestra follows the advice of native bee entomologists.
1. Native bees pick up mites when they visit flowers. These parasites get packed into tubes along with eggs, pollen and mud for a long winter. After one season, most of the new bees have survived, but if their offspring return to the same nursery, they will find a larger parasite load waiting for them.
You can steam clean and drill out all the wooden/bamboo holes each year to kill the parasites, but most people don’t bother. The result: poorly designed bee nurseries can kill bees instead of raising them.
The Beestra, in contrast, is made of paper and designed to be recycled each year.
2. Most commercial bee nurseries use tubes that are too short. The bees lay female eggs in the back of the tubes and then male eggs nearer the exit. That ensures the proper gender mix and puts the males where they belong, waiting for romance. Tubes should be 6.5-8” long on average and if not, either the gender mix or the bee’s careful placement of male/female eggs is compromised.
3. Mother bees and their children are tasty treats for predators like woodpeckers and squirrels. A well designed bee nursery always has a sturdy screen for protection.
4. A 2” roof overhang is a minimum requirement for rain and weather extremes.
5. Bees prefer a stable home. The Beestra fastens securely to lots of surfaces and doesn’t move in the wind.
6. The Beestra uses four diameters for tubes. We’ve found this variety ( 6mm, 8mm, 10mm & 12mm) provides homes for a range of bee sizes.
7. The Beestra is made of 40% recycled materials and is designed to be recycled after one year’s use. We’ve worked hard to eliminate plastic from the whole package (although shipping requires some).
Summary: Beestras are built to grow native bees in a cellulose setting similar to their native reeds. They’re parasite resistant, built with proper sized tubes and protection against weather. They’re made on a small farm in the Ozarks by people who use them all season long.
Google "bee nursery" or "bee hotel". See how many dangerous designs are out there.
See this gross picture? This is a bee covered with mites. The mites live in wooden bee hotels and they ambush young bees like the one above.
The All-Wrong bee nursery
1. Young mother bees returning to the same tubes they came from will find hungry mites waiting to feast on her eggs and pollen.
2. The tubes are too short leading to a poor distribution of male/female eggs.
3. Bamboo tubes can hold a lot of moisture and that encourages mold and rot.
4. More tube diameters means more options for more bees.
5. Where’s the roof overhang for weather protection?
6. Are these boxes being built with tropical wood from endangered forests?
7. Commonly these boxes are pictured hanging by a wire from a tree. Great for birdhouses, not great for bees.
8. Where’s the protection against predators?
9. Are these made of recycled materials? Can they be recycled after use?
Summary: Bees are not birds and they need specialized housing to protect them and their offspring. Let’s assume people are well intentioned, but a poorly designed bee nursery can be a death-trap.