Leafcutter bee emergence is a difficult thing to give an absolute timeframe on as it's based on a number of variables. However, emergence can happen at anytime from 2-4 weeks plus after receiving them given they are positioned correctly within the BeeHome and the BeeHome is sited in a suitable location.
If your leafcutter bees have not emerged after 2-4 weeks - don't panic! It can often take a little longer if the weather a little unsettled or we have an extended cool or rainy period.
It's completely normal for your leafcutter bees to emerge anytime between November right through to April.
Here are a few things to consider when judging how long it might take for you leafcutter bees to emerge:
- Is your BeeHome sited in a good location. A good location is somewhere that gets good morning sun, with a little relief from the height of the sun in the afternoon.
- Are you leafcutter bee cocoons installed around 3-5cm in to the nesting tunnels from the front of the BeeHome.
- Is your BeeHome positioned between 1-2 meters from ground level.
- Ensure you've placed your BeeHome away from any bird nesting, feeding or drinking stations.
- What's the local weather like in your area? Leafcutter bee cocoons require a reasonable constant spell of warm sunny weather (around 18+ degrees) to complete their development phase and emerge. Any cool, wet or windy spells could delays their emergence a little.
- Ensure your BeeHome doesn't overheat. Constant direct sunlight for many hours in excess of 30 degrees may have a negative effect on developing bee larvae within the cocoons. If you're worried about excessive heat, move your BeeHome to somewhere with a little less direct sunlight.
Lastly, once your leafcutter bees do start to emerge the will go out and forage for a few weeks, to build up their strength and get themselves ready for a busy mating season. During this time, your bees will be out pollinating your garden and may often spend the night away from the BeeHome sheltered under leaves etc.
The busiest time for activity at the BeeHome is when the female leafcutter bees start to provision the next generation of leafcutter bee cocoons within the BeeHome. This often occurs toward the end of season around January-April.