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Thread: Getting a bumble bee queen to nest in your garden.

  1. #1
    cheops is offline Tuber
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    Default Getting a bumble bee queen to nest in your garden.

    Id love to have a bumble bee queen to make a home in my garden next spring. Ive read as much as I can on the net - bury an old clay flowerpot and from it connect a tube etc but Im hoping for top tips and success rate from anyone who has tried it successfully or not.
    Mr Bones likes this.

  2. #2
    DannyK is offline Tuber
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    Have you got badgers? If so nest will be vulnerable to their predation. Maybe well anchored barbed wire might safeguard it.

    Had a nest dug out in my garden. Amazing! Stoney, bone-dry clay would have taken ages for me to dig such a hole.

  3. #3
    cheops is offline Tuber
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    Danny there are badgers in the locality - saw one in the headlights one night at the side of the road and sadly have seen many more dead on the road. However I don’t believe a badger has ever been in my garden. Was the predated nest in your garden encouraged by you or did it just happen?
    Last edited by cheops; 30-09-2018 at 02:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Kirk is offline Cropper
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    I find they just nest where they decide.
    One was simply in the ground, may have been under a sheet or something. I kept see bees coming out of the ground, had a look and then left them alone and made sure the area was undisturbed.

    Had one nest in the pile of pots and crud that resides to one side of my back door. Occasionally one looked in, then exited out the door again. Never gave any problems. Only meant that you walked out the door a bit slower then usual.

    Another one was under a large bay tree but in a stone wall - well I assume it was in the badly built (not neat) wall. Again I saw bees going under the tree and coming out. I didn't crawl under to find out specifics.

    Great fun watching them. Some came out and had a rest on a darkish paver/stone, then went off about their business. Others came back and rested on the stone then flew into the nest to deliver their collected food/pollen. Stone was in the sun and was generally warm.

    Not seen any this year but the nests are small so easy to not see. Did see several bees searching for suitable locations so maybe one did exist.

    Search out bee boxes. You can make a box - basically brick size with a 1/2 inch hole. I suppose looking for a rectangular flower pot could be useful. I haven't bumped in to one yet in a garden centre.

    May build a cavity (or 2 or 3) each with small extrance into a retaining wall I can extend.

    They would seem to like a protected areas, makes sense. Likely a neat garden is not for them, mine is a mix of chaotic and messy. I could easily have 2 or 3 nests and never know it.

    If you put a box or something out then I suspect that it needs a bit of thought concerning where to position a few. One I may try is on a lightweight air block against a wall but protested.

    Reason is I have 2 blocks at the end of my raised bed that I can use. Thinking bee box and a few terracotta pots either side so box is not just sat there on top isolated. You could get say 2 blocks from B&Q then add box and pots and site at somewhere suitable.
    Last edited by Kirk; 30-09-2018 at 09:42 PM.
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  5. #5
    chris_m is offline Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
    I find they just nest where they decide.
    I had a Tree Bumble decide to make use of one of my tit boxes last year - without evicting any tits, which I understand they will sometimes do.
    I got superb pollination of the raspberries that year, the box was only about three feet from them so th bumbles didn't have far to go

    Nothing this year though :-(
    All the best from rural South Cumbria
    Chris

  6. #6
    cheops is offline Tuber
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    Thanks Kirk - very interesting and informative.

  7. #7
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    Birdie Wife is offline Cropper
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    If you site a few potential homes in different places, that would give you a better chance of success. The best advice I can give is that queen bumblebees are attracted to the smell of mice in the spring, as many are looking for a mouse or vole burrow in the spring to nest in. So if you can site the bee house in a place where mice might be and put some old mouse bedding inside the house as well, that will improve your chances.
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    Dwell simply ~ love richly

  8. #8
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    Mr Bones is offline Early Fruiter
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    I've had them nest in an old field mouse hole and also bird boxes.
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