INSECTS AT THE GRANGE
TREE BUMBLEBEE, Bombus hypnorum
On the side of the bike shed in Clare Court. June 2015
Bees 'waiting around' for queens to emerge. June 2015
Bird box no. 4 was taken over in May 2015 by the Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum, and most certainly out of action for its usual occupants.
They like to nest high up so bird boxes are perfect. It is the time of the year when the colony queen is producing new daughter queens and males (drones). The males are kicked out of the colony and go off in search of other nests and new queens. They whirl around in front of the nest box waiting for new queens to emerge and the opportunity to mate. They are not swarming and not dangerous as male bees do not have stings
Once the new queens and males have dispersed and mated, the newly mated queens will feed up and hibernate until next year. All other bumbles die-the old queen, workers and males-it is an annual life-cycle.
With thanks to Maggie Frankum, FULBG, BBCT, LES, LRWT, naturalist and gardener, for identifying the species and the above notes.
In 2016 the Tree Bees returned but to a nest box a few yards from the one above.
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