What to do if you find a hibernating bumblebee

People often find hibernating bumblebees in late winter or early spring, when they begin to work in their gardens again. The most common places to find them are in compost bins and loose soil in flower pots and banks of earth.

Hibernating bumblebees are all potential queen bees, which will hopefully go on to make nests in spring. Uncovering them can disturb them, and you might find them buzzing or shaking. If the bee isn't too active, you can cover it u again using the material you uncovered from it. Try to pack this as loosely as possible, so she can dig her way out when it's time to do so.

If the bee remains very active and won't go back into hibernation, you can help her on her way by feeding her a solution of sugar. Click here to read more on how to do that. Don't be tempted ot keep the bee indoors, as bumblebees need to be outside to complete their lifecycles.

“Bumblebees are one of the most endearing insect visitors to any garden. Their furry, colourful bodies and clumsy flight always raise a smile, but they also do an essential job. Without their pollination services many flowers would produce no seeds, and fruit and vegetable yields would suffer.”

Toby Buckland
TV gardener

Toby Buckland
View our Flickr
How Bee kind is your garden