Queen bumblebee mating and hibernation site prospecting?

January 16, 2015

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Bumblebees and their ecology, Gardening For Wildlife

Bumblebee queens mate, then hibernate!

After mating queen bumblebees will continue to feed up for a while and then go off in search of a suitable hibernation site. I have only ever found one and was disappointed in the fact that a passerby and his dog disturbed this observation!

Queen B. terrestris hibernation site exploration dig Nurturing Nature

This determined B. terrestris queen was seen pulling and tugging at roots, then was heard chewing through and snapping them as she dug deeper!

Of course as this was late June, she could have been parasitised by Sphaerularia bombi, which affects their post hibernation behaviour. I will never know!

Here is Anthony McCluskey’s (Bumblebee Conservation Trust) useful and interesting article about hibernating bumblebee queens

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