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Thread: bumble bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,034

    Default bumble bees

    I have a small nest of bumble bees, yellow hairy ones, and would like to try and keep it through the winter. At the moment it is in a lump of dry grass and covered with an upside down clay pot on a stand of bits of wood. Can I take it inside, or will I let it stay where it is. No live bees just now, but a few cells.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Caithness
    Posts
    5,424

    Default

    Contact

    www.bumblebeeconservation.org

    They should be able to advise you, do you have any pics of the bees?

    Or try the ranger for Caithness and North Sutherland he's quite an authority on bees, think his name is Bob Russel.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Scunner and Liz

    I am the ranger you are referring to and my name is not Bob it's Paul Castle. An authority on bees is stretching it but I do know about bumblebees.

    The bumblebees you refer to Scunner sound like they could be common carder bees latin name Bombus pascourum (google the latin name and check the images) If the nest is now finished with no bee activity then it will fine to take indoors otherwise it will decay quite rapidly. Place it somewhere cool and dry and allow it to dry out thoroughly. From counting the number of brood cells you can estimate the colony size.

    Unlike honey bee colonies which can survive for several years the only survivors over the winter from a successful bumblebee nest are the new queens which were produced in late summer and hopefully mated and successfully hibernated. All the other bees in the colony die including the old queen, female workers and the males. The nest is only successful if the new queens mate and hibernate successfully.

    Give me a call at the Dunnet Seadrift Centre office if you want more advice and I could send you a simple bumblebee ID sheet for our local species 01847 821531 (leave a message if I'm out).

    I hope this helps and good to know folk are interested in our furry little friends.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Caithness
    Posts
    5,424

    Default

    Whoops sorry Paul..I should have known as we have met, you will have to excuse a senior citizen for a poor memory!

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