I’m Jeremy and I’ve finally got round to joining the forum after it being on my to-do list for weeks. I currently live in Wiltshire and I’m a volunteer at a 3 acre nature project/reserve where I’m an assistant beekeeper, helping to look after four colonies.
I’m very much into natural history of all kinds especially entomology and marine biology (I have a soft spot for Turtles and Jellyfish). In entomological terms, I like all kinds of insects but I am especially intersted in the social orders (ants, bees, wasps and termites). In the past Ive kept ladybirds (larvae - releasing then after theyve pupated and some very small colonies of comon black and medow ants (Lasius Niger and Flavus respectivly).
I havent yet experimented with bumblebee box’s yet but its something I would really like to try. However, we have got a nest in the wall of the office at the reserve which is fun to watch. I’ll try and get some photo’s taken and post them here for identification.
I’ve got the impression from various googlings etc that people dont seem to have much success with commercial boxs - is this the case? Im very intruiged by the new box developed by Nurturing Nature - especially as it seems that Dave Goulson of BBCT seems to be in favour. Would the odds of success with occupation be greater with one of these?
Anyway , youre probably all bored of reading about me now, so I’ll sign off here.
Welcome to the Forum !
I think you will find many skill / ability links between being a Beekeeper and a BB enthusiast. (I have anyway !)
The commercial BB boxes are said to have very poor uptake by queens, but a recent joiner of the Forum (KevinH, from Wales, posting in BB Discussion, under Another New Member to the Forum) has had some success when he puts queens in them and makes them stay for a bit.
Another thing you could try would be using bird boxes with old bird nests in them, since several BB species do occasionally nest in bird boxes.
(B. terrestris, lapidarius, pascuorum, pratorum, hypnorum at least.) So again, adding a nest searching queen to a box and making sure she stays a bit might help, as presumably would having some syrup available.
I hope this helps. Clive
Welcome to the forum.
Good to see you are interested in ants. i have been interested in ants since I was 8 years old ! I used to have a Leafcutting ant colony which survived for 5 years and I hope to obtain another sometime this year.
As for the Bumblebees, I have been been interested for 10 or more years and have had some success in introducing nest searching queens into boxes, I find it best not to try and make them stay in the box. They are always free to go or occupy the box on their own accord.
This year was probably my worst year for introducing queens purely due to the lack of nest searching queen numbers.
Have done a little bee keeping at work but unfortunately the bees only survived one season.