This page is devoted to passing on information we are learning from our rearing blocks. Each year a small subset of the blocks we place in the field are rearing blocks. At the end of the summer, these rearing blocks are returned to us. We then raise out the offspring which are turned into museum specimens (which are highly valued and housed in perpetuity) so that we can get expert species-level identifications on the bees and wasps nesting in our blocks.
The nest plug data you collect provides lots of great information on the nesting of our bees and wasps, but species-level identifications require specimens. We also have the added benefit of collecting parasites associated with their host bee or wasp species. These host-parasite data are not available from the standard bee blocks that most our Citizen Scientists monitor.
The rearing block option is prearranged with our volunteers as some of the Citizen Scientists are uncomfortable with this idea. It is highly orchestrated so as to get the greatest insect diversity in a minimum number of blocks. We feel that the information gained by these few rearing blocks is important to the overall study and that the number of specimens retained is greatly offset by the additional nesting sites that The Bees’ Needs provides to our native bees and wasps.
DISCLAIMER – Many of the photographs on this page will be of dead specimens. Feel free to turn back if this is disturbing to you.