27 June 2012 12:45 AM #31
Clive - 26 June 2012 01:15 PM
lemon juice and bicarbonate etc may be a folk medicine, so have good placebo effects, but the active materials in bee stings are proteins, so not grossly affected.
Many thanks Clive. Very tactfully put!
Best wishes Karen
03 July 2012 10:15 AM #32
Can anyone tell me if the mated new queens hibernate in roof spaces over the winter? If they do will they make a new nest in there next year? If not where do they go to hibernate?
03 July 2012 12:26 PM #33
The most basic answer is that we don’t really know yet because B. hypnorum is so new in the UK: but bumblebee queens in general are known to hibernate (strictly aestivate) in the ground, or in leaf-litter etc usually in a sun-sheltered place like a north facing slope.
Waking is supposed to link with a soil temperature trigger - see Prys Jones & Corbet’s book.
They dig themselves a little ‘walnut sized chamber’ and go to sleep.
Alford’s big book, Bumblebees, which has recently been re-published in facsimile form has quite a bit about this - but the re-print has left out some of the photos, beacuse they were deemed to be of poor quality.
Hibernating queens have also been found in flowerpots - and there was & should be a lovely picture in the BBCT Photo Gallery of a bee in a flowerpot.
Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if hypnorum got over to the UK as hibernating queens in pots of plants brought over from Holland, where the horticultural industry is huge ...... but that is only just a guess.
I suspect that one of the survival needs of a hibernating queen would be humidity: and that house loft-spaces would be too dry - but I find lots of hibernating queen wasps in my loft every year - and some of them do wake-up again in the spring.
I hope this sets you thinking further !
03 July 2012 02:31 PM #34
Thanks so much for your fascinating reply Clive. It certainly does make me think.
You are very knowledgeable are you self taught Clive?
04 July 2012 04:17 PM #35
I got interested in honey bees back in the 1970s, so have been a beekeeper since ~1975: and later took some BBKA exams, which took my school Biology know-how on insects to a deeper level.
I was scared of bumbles for many years after that - such a big bee must pack an even bigger sting-punch I thought, but now know much better.
Then ~9 years ago my BKA had a wonderful lecture about BBs from Dr Juliet Osborne, of Rothamsted Research and it lit a spark.
I was writing up the Talks for the BKA Newsletter, and went to town with that one - a good many pages long !
Some while later BBCT was formed and Juliet told me about it. So I joined and have been trying to help since.
So I’m self-taught, but have an Industrial scientific background: and tend to spend money on books that look interesting, then read them years later - so perhaps I’m well read too - but I can’t remember too much detail these days - but do know where to look !
If you, or anyone else is interested I could send you the Write-up I did of Juliet’s Talk, it gives a pretty good overview.
How about you, you seem very active on this forum !
29 August 2012 03:06 PM #36