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Thread: Bumblebee nest - advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default Bumblebee nest - advice needed

    So exciting - just found I have a nest of bumblebees in the bottom of my plastic composter. It's one of those with a slide up lid at the bottom and I've seen a bee flying in and out before but didn't realise I had a nest until I took the lid off today and heard this busy buzzing going on under all the rubbish. Seems my efforts to make the garden insect and bird friendly are being rewarded

    I know nothing about them. Will they just fly off eventually? Should I leave this composter alone until it goes quiet (I have others)? Any advice appreciated.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  2. #2
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    www.bumblebeeconservation.org

    Any idea what breed of bumblebee they are?
    If possible get some pictures and forward with any queeries you may have to the above, they are extremely helpfull.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Lizz. Haven't managed to get them to stop long enough for a proper look but will try to identify. They're not very big. How do I persuade one to pose? They just dart in and out. Maybe I'll have to put something juicy nearby. I'd give anything to see inside.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  4. #4

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    We have a nest of bumble bees in our rockery. I cant say that I can hear them buzzing - we just see them constantly going in and out this crack in the rocks. They are big hairy beasties with white bums but we have seen loads of the rarer yellow bumble bee too in the garden this year (I forget their correct names). If yours are small and moving fast, it might be honey bees. Exciting either way so good luck with them.
    If you feed them, please be sure not to put out real honey to them unless it is locally sourced...the honey from other areas may carry diseases that whilst harmless to humans could pass on to honey bees up here.

  5. #5
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    They're definitely bumblebees. I was thinking of one their favourite flowers to put near the composter in the hopes one might stay long enough for me to get a proper look. Wouldn't give them honey - I'd heard that warning. Always loved bumblebees, there's something about them.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  6. #6
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    They won't stay still long enough for a good pic. but managed two. They seem to be common garden bumblebees but it must be an unusual home? Couldn't get the worker bees as they are small enough to go straight in, the bigger ones take a little while.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  7. #7
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    Difficult to tell from your pictures but would think either White-tailed,Bombus Lucorum or possibly Buff Tailed Worker, Bombus Terrestris.

  8. #8
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    I think white tailed. Was going to put some flowers near but I also have a lot of wasps in my flowering shrubs and didn't want to attract them over. Very buzzy garden just now
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  9. #9
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    How wonderful that you have a bees' nest Badger.

    Like you I am trying to make my garden 'wildlife' friendly and was considering getting the bee houses you hang up but was afraid I might waste money as I bought a sparrow terrace and not one flipping sparrow has gone in it.

    Are you still being pestered by the crows? Ours are back!

  10. #10
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    Wasps keep wanting to nest in the birdhouse fixed to the shed.
    How do you deter them.... would rather have sparrows or other wee birds!
    They are definately wasps and not bees as they sting more than once

  11. #11
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    Hi Liz - yes it is exciting although now I'm worried as the sun is shining and I'm afraid the composter is going to get very hot. Didn't think of it in all those wet days. Such a responsibility . Am wondering whether to take the lid off in daytime to get some air in.

    The crows (which actually turned out to be jackdaws!) have given up so the cages definitely work and the wee birds love them.

    Dadie - I don't think there's much you can do about wasps. I have masses in one row of shrubs but also had them in the roof for second year running so I'm afraid I got the pest control lady in. She said there are a lot of wasps around this year. It's OK until later in the year when they can get a bit bad tempered. Don't know where my shrub ones are nesting.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  12. #12
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    Oh yes I never thought about that. Is there a beekeeper you could ask?

    Glad the crow (jackdaw) problem has been sorted. What are the cages you got?
    Not sure whether they would fit over the feeders I have as they are really big?

  13. #13
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    I've been told they'll will organise their own air-conditioning so am hoping for the best. Need to watch their diet though as one of the big ones spent ages trying to squeeze through the gap at the bottom - I had to push the door up a bit in the end so she could get in! It was funny.

    I looked on the PetsatHome website as I got my bird feed cages in their Wick store but wonder if they don't do them now as all I could find was
    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/squir...-nuttery-16167
    and similar for seed. The ones I bought were cheaper and didn't come with feeders. Actually think it might be better to get with the feeder though as it's quite awkward fitting another feeder in so it sits on the bottom. I found if they were hanging the birds couldn't get up on the perch as there's no room in the cage to fly. You wouldn't believe the complicated arrangement I've finished up with!
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


  14. #14
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    Ha ha. I have a vision now of a fat bumblebee trying to get into the composter. I wonder if you'd be able to hear grunting if you went close?

    Cheers for the info re the feeders.

  15. #15
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    Default Bumblebee nest advice

    You'll find advice here: http://www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk/contact_us.htm
    They'll be delighted if you let them know about the nest sighting through the link on the the above mentioned webpage.

    I'd go along with Lizz's identification based on your photos, with white tailed bumblebees being the more common this far north.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the link astroman, I'll contact them. Meanwhile have had to prop the door thingy up as it kept sliding down so they couldn't get in. I guess any disturbance inside made it move. One bee got so frustrated it even tried the next door composter . They got a bit cross while I was fiddling around trying to fix it so it didn't move again but am hoping it's OK now. I had nightmare visions of it sliding righit down so they couldn't get in or out. No wonder my hair is turning white - the worry ....
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


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