Where to keep bee house over winter

Q. I bought a bee house and put it in my yard this summer. Should I bring it in for the winter?

Marci from Youngstown

A. You should not bring it into your heated home. The bees will be just fine hanging outside. It’s their natural habitat!

The bee house should already be in use, as the pupae or adults are already in the capped nesting holes in your bee house. The females were active all summer and should have taken up residence as their nest.

Now that it is November, you can move your bee house into a protected place for the winter months, such as a shed or unheated garage. Or just place a trap cover over it. Basically, it should be in a place that is protected from mice and other rodents, woodpeckers and generally bad winter conditions.

Important information is to move the bee house in early November, because adult bees are formed by late fall and next spring will emerge in much better shape from the move. Don’t forget to move the bee house back in early spring, facing the front of the house south or southeast, so on cool days the bees will warm up faster and collect pollen sooner.

Our experts at Nebraska’s Extension System say to observe the houses from April to June for emerging adult bees. After the adults have emerged, you will need to put in new nesting blocks into the bee house. The ones that were used this winter should be discarded, as to prevent the spread of disease.

Bee houses, sometimes called Bee Hotels, are a great way to encourage more pollinators and to support them in our ecosystem.

You may like to check out www.xerces.org . It’s all about bees.

For videos, photos and more information on the bees and pollinators in your yard, go to:

http://go.osu.edu/backyardbee You’ll find everything you need to help encourage more pollinators and care for the native bees in your backyard.

For instructions on building, buying or using a bee house, go to: http://go.osu.edu/beehouse

Today’s answer provided by Cynthia Foust, Ohio certified volunteer naturalist. Winter hours for the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic vary. Submit questions to the clinic at 330-533-5538 or drop samples off at the OSU Extension Office in Canfield.

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