Bumblebee nest in your garden or allotment? What do you do?

June 28, 2016

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Bumblebees and their ecology, Gardening For Wildlife, Working with Schools/Colleges

Garden Bumblebee Nest. Information from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

I have had many bumblebee nests in my wildlife garden sharing it with my family and dogs. Personally I showed my own children where the nests were to be found in the garden. Similarly on allotment sites where I taught children. We watched them together busy at work, I gave them a little advice and everybody was happy. No consequences. Ever! With a lovely story below!

B. terrestris worker on flowering parsnip

B. terrestris worker on flowering parsnip

Watch and explain!

One early summer’s day, whilst teaching on an allotment site,  I heard some school children yelling for me and shouting about bees. I went over and calmed them down. They had discovered a B. terrestris nest in a strawberry bed, which I was aware of but left to its devices for such an opportunity as this. We had a chat about strawberries, which they all liked, especially MacDonald’s milk shakes!  We watched as the workers went to and fro from the nest, leaving a direct flight path to the entrance hole clear, with me answering questions as we watched. I did the same with all of that group and the other groups that attended. Basically, no bees, no strawberries, no milkshakes!

Teaching parents!

Some months later we had an open day. A young mother pushed her pram with sleeping baby past the strawberry bed and bumblebee nest and panicked when she saw the bees entering and leaving, causing quite a commotion. Her young son, who attended the allotment, went over to see what his mum was so worked up about. “Mum, its only bumblebees. Come over with me and I will tell you about them!”Off they went, with her leaving the pram and baby with a friend! I felt so proud!

B. terrestris nest in strawberry bed

Start of B. terrestris tunnel in strawberry bed

I tried to find the actual nest chamber when the nest died down. I eventually dug at least 6 feet away following the main tunnel from the entrance hole and well over 18 inches deep! I simply could not find it.

See bumblebee worker on flowering parsnips with nest 6 feet away

This leaflet from the Bumblebee experts at Bumblebee Conservation Trust will help you decided what to do, if anything!

Bumblebee nests. What to do if you find one.

Interested in Citizen Science and pollinators?  See The Buzz Club.

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