Homebuggarden commented earlier this week:pollinator

“Has anyone come across a good source of information on providing nest support for alternative pollinators such as bumblebees, digger bees, and the like?”

Indeed, I have!  Xerces has an excellent PDF download, Nests for Native Bees.  There are also additional detailed instructions in their publication Farming for Bees (starting on page 25).

There is Michigan specific advice in a PDF here (and any day now I’ll get around to reviewing the  awesome paper those authors published in Ecology Frontiers….)  There is also a plant list for Michigan in this PDF publication.

You can find a list of all the excellent Xerces Society publications online here, downloadable free as PDFs!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Thanks for the links, Bug Girl! I’ll do a post on these on my garden blog.

  2. […] Bug Girl has brought to my attention the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. They provide several free publications that would be of interest to nature loving gardeners across North America: […]

  3. Hey Bug Girl,

    Thanks for the excellent roundup of native bee nesting and native flower/pollinator pdfs. I was all set to indulge myself in my first certifiable rant this on-and-off Sunday. Once the rainclouds come back, though, I think, instead, I’ll give the papers a thorough read through. Too late for bumblebee nest boxes this year (and I imagine I should insulate or fully bury them in this climate), but a great winter project.

  4. Oddly enough, I know a lot of people who work for Xerces. They’re really big for an organization I didn’t know of until last year.

    I’ve also heard some pretty discouraging stuff involving APHIS and getting pollinators for those who want to raise their own.

    And if you plan on raising bumble-bees: failure is part of the game. I’m told that even the best agencies get only about 50% to nest.

    Good luck. :)

  5. Interested parties may want to look at this paper on bumblebee nest site selection:


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