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Tree Bumble Bees?

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Joined 2013-06-17

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We noticed for the first time today that bees have set up a nest in a bird box attached to our apple tree. We are fairly certain these are Tree Bumble Bees - Black head with Ginger thorax and a black body with white/grey tail-end.

Our intention is to leave them alone but, and here come the really stupid question: is there anything in particular we should or should not be doing?

elsadog

     
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Joined 2013-06-17

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A lot of activity this morning - about a dozen bees flying around the entrance but no going in or coming out happening. Normal activity?

Bees going in and out occasionally.

     
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Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi Elsadog,

The most important thing with colonies of the Tree Bumblebee will be that you do not knock, or vibrate the nest box.
These bees seem to react strongly to vibration, which can make them “boil out of the box” and behave defensively (Bee viewpoint) also known as aggressively (human viewpoint) and can then sting people.

There is a fair bit of info about this species in the Bumblebee Discussion thread: and if it is still there there was even more about them in last year’s Forum threads.

Meanwhile, do enjoy the spectacle and wonder at the fecundity of nature !

Clive