Author Topic: Bumble Bee help required  (Read 545 times)

Bumble Bee help required
« on: August 17, 2010, 09:12:00 pm »
I have three old plastic compost bins.  Two are fairly enclosed however the third and larger one has quite large gaps to let the air in.  This one has also come apart on one side so the compost is visible within.  It is very dry and therefore not really true compost, just compacted garden waste.

I was planning to tidy up the area where these bins are located and planned to empty them and hopefully start again with a better process than previously used.

That was until Mrs G noticed a Bumble Bee fly into the exposed corner area.  We then watched and saw other Bumble Bees fly in and out.  Therefore I am guessing they have set up home.  A hive?

I believe there was some news articles recently concerned with the decline of the bee and wonder if there is someone I can contact for advice about how best to clean up my messy area without destroying / killing the bees.  Do you think there is a 'bee expert' that would come and move them or am I being over sensible?


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Re: Bumble Bee help required
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 09:23:14 pm »
There are about 30 different species of bumble bee living in Britain and I think all of them are protected. They live in small colonies of up to about 2000 insects, compared to the 80000 or so you might have in a honey bees' hive in high summer.

If you just leave them, by the end of autumn the nest will be empty. Only the queen bees normally survive the winter so by then all the workers will be dead. If they are really troublesome (bumble bees rarely are though) you might be able to get a bee keeper to remove them. I know a lady who trained me in beekeeping who was always very glad to transplant people's bumble bee nests. She used to wait until it was dark, carefully take the nest out of the compost heap and then take it to the compost heap on her allotment. It's probable that bumble bees tend to pollinate stuff that honey bees ignore, the latter tending to collect nectar in industrial quantities and possibly not bothering with small garden crops.
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Re: Bumble Bee help required
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 09:35:40 pm »
Oh, I didn't know they might all be dead by winter.  I thought they hibernated ( silly me ) and then came out of their hole when it was warm enough.

I shall use that as an excuse not to 'tidy' up that area - that gives me a couple of months respite  ;D

Thanking you.  :thumbsup:


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Re: Bumble Bee help required
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 11:48:51 pm »
You may also want to get yourself a Bumblebee Lodge.

We've got one in the back garden, and we'll be getting one for the allotment.
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Re: Bumble Bee help required
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 05:41:22 am »
Good idea.  We have so many flowers that they harvest ( our lavender is covered in them ) that a lodge would be well booked out I reckon.  ;D