rescuing bombles

Discussion in 'Mason & other alternative bees' started by Big Bear, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    I got a call from city official to come look at a bee problem he had.

    turns out, someone placed a couple of bumble bee hives in the wrong place. City workers were going to exterminate them. I was able to relocate them to a good place and Walla! Presto!!! rescued bombles.

    You can see more of the story here


    here is a shot of the two nests I relocated.

    100_2649.jpg
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Bear.
    I have seen Bumble Bee colonies where I work a short term summer gig. They use them in the greenhouse tunnels for the raspberries and tomatoes growing in them. They are in cardboard boxes purpose made for them. The bees end up gone by the end of the season.
    The ones in your photo look interesting. It looks like they are used as a more permanent type of arrangement.
    Any idea as to who is keeping them?
    Plus......Kudos to you for saving them. :thumbsup:

    Just followed your link, very nice (BBE)!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012

  3. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    no, we have no idea who put them there. All I know is they selected an un-safe place for them.
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Bumbles are semi social insect Only the queens survive the winter by burrowing in some place and if they find a good place they will hibernate for the winter and not freeze to death. In the spring the queens emerge from hibernation and select a nesting place. makes a honey pot and a few cells to start brood in about 5 cells when they emerge they help the queen to expand the colony to about the max size of 200. in early august the bees develop queens so they can go and find a place to hibernate the winter again. I don't know if you got and moved any of the queen to populate your area for next year it is a little late in the season and the bees left in the hive are going to be killed by frost soon. The good news is the hives will attract new colonies next year.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    How odd that there was no ID markings on the boxes. What kind of 'unsafe place' had they been placed in? On someone else's property, or on public property?

    I've had two nice wooden bumble boxes in my yard for two years now, and sadly, no takers. :(
     
  6. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    You're right about a lot of that info. Though I have found that queens lay reproductives in the Fall and those can survive overwinter as well in the right locations.

    There were queens in both hives still and closed honey pots where new bees would be emerging soon.

    both hives had about 6 to 10 pots with pupae in them. so there is good potential for overwintering in this location they were moved to.

    Omie, I don't know if you got to read the full story at my blog but the spots these had been put in were prone to flooding and both hive boxes has water damage which upon inspection had quite a negative effect on the bees.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Big Bear, have you done reading about how bumble bees like to be located? I see you've elevated the boxes up on cement blocks, like little honeybee hives. I believe bumble bees normally like to nest underground or in low protected spots, sometimes occupying abandoned mouse nests underground, or low piles of flowerpots, stone walls, under shrubbery, etc. I wouldn't think they would do well over the winter with their little nest boxes fully exposed up on cement blocks with no winter protection in your location.
     
  8. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    yep, and in normal situations they will be placed in such locations. However, part of the "rescue" for these hives is to dry them out completely. I mentioned earlier about the water damage to the hives from where they were originally placed. They are up on blocks right now in order to completely dry and air our before placing them on a nice pile of hay on the ground.

    I have been working with bumble bees and doing live removals of them for about three years with about 90% success over that time.

    I might seem like an over-sized ignoramus, but I have been around this block a few times now.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Well then I'm relieved you're not an over-sized ignoramus! Or a 'bumble bumbler' either! lol! ;)
     
  10. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    :grin: it's all good.
     
  11. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I was advised that a good 'bait' to put in a Bumblebee nesting box is an old mouse nest.

    Never tried it so can't comment.
     
  12. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Barbarian, that is correct.
     
  13. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Right on Bear, good for you...those bumbles need love too...