projet Wild Bees


How do they nest?

As with their feeding, specialization exists from a nesting point of view. Unlike the large colony organization of several thousand individuals of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), wild bees usually live alone even if some individuals form small  bourgarde.

colletes cunicularius

Soil bees

The vast majority of wild bee species found in Europe nest in the ground. They need bare or poorly vegetated soils such as roadsides or embankments. They are suitable for all types of substrates, from sandy soils to much more compact soils.

Photo : ©David Genoud

osmia cornuta

Cave bees

These species settle in naturally hollow stems (reed, bamboo or the stems of certain apiaceae) or in galleries dug by beetles in the wood.

Photo : ©David Genoud

xylocopa violacea

Carpenter bees

They dig their nests in soft wood that is wormed or decaying.

Photo : ©David Genoud

Anthidium loti

Harvesting bees

These species protect their nests through the harvesting of materials. Some  line the walls of their cells with fibers harvested from the stems, leaves, or fruits of certain plants, while others prefer to use fragments of leaves or petals to protect their nests.

Photo : ©David Genoud

To help wild bees nest, go to the Good practices page !

For a population of a wild bee species to be sustainably maintained, the habitat must therefore offer the following three elements:


food resources,  i.e. a sufficient supply of flowers


favorable micro-habitats (bare soil, dead wood or hollow stems)


for some species, certain specific materials for the construction of the nest