The toilet trained bumblebee queens! video

May 25, 2014

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

Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) queens were toilet trained!

I have never seen this before with any other species. This was a particularly successful nest in terms of producing queens many of whom I saw foraging and returning with pollen over several days. I lost count after a dozen queens left this particular nest. There were more. It was quite odd to watch, all of them were queens (looking at their size compared to the smaller workers). I saw no workers toileting in this way. I found it very interesting and am curious as to why so many acted the same way.

A toilet trained bumblebee queen! Nurturing Nature

 

Questions

Were they not quite ready for leaving the nest hence returning to the nest immediately? Were they preparing for their maiden flight? Did they not want to run the gauntlet of males awaiting outside? Was the nest so crowded they sensed it was the right thing to do? I suspect that the nest itself was too small forcing them to perform this way.

 

 

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington

For more information about bumblebees go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

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