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a possible nest

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Joined 2013-07-11

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Hi,

I know next to nothing about bumble bees however I do know they are in decline. I am a keen gardener and noticed a few days ago that a bumble bee was taking bits of leaf and hiding down a hole in a small metal frame which is located directly at my back door. The last two days the end of the hole seems to be closed with leaves and I haven;t seen anything coming or going. I just wondered what’s going on and if there is anything I can do to help. I have attached a picture, the nest appears to be in the green metal frame at the right hand side, the frame itself is fairly small.

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Darcie

     
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Total Posts: 271

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi Darcie,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum !

Secondly, your photo hasn’t arrived - but you can do this if you press the edit button, then re-post it.

From what you say, my guess is that what you have discovered is a Leafcutter Bee Nest.
These bees are fairly large and brown coloured, but not so furry as a bumblebee.
And they are Solitary bees.  (The mums don’t interact with their children.)
I’ve had these bees fill in a deep hole bored in a wooden fence post; and sometimes they can use the Bee Nester tubes that are put out for Solitary bees.

These are the type of bees that make neat little circular holes in rose-leaves.  And use the circles to line, separate and cover a nest which has a sequence of lumps of pollen, each with an egg on it.  The eggs develop into little grubs that eat the pollen, pupate, then hatch out next year.

I hope this helps - and that you will have enjoyed your discovery so much that you keep up your Forum posts etc !

Yours       Clive

     
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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2013-07-11

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Hi Clive,

Thanks for the response, i had difficulty uploading the picture as it was 311 Mb and the limit was 300. Your theory fits well with what i have and as it happenes i seen another Bee start to go in the other pole. The first one has leaves still on it so i will just leave it and wait and see. I have onre slight problem as these poles are located directly outside my back door. I dnt really want to move it, i was happy to leave it.
I will keep you updated and if you have an alternative way to send the pics I would be happy to do so!
Thanks again for your assistance and knowledge!

Long live the Bee!
grin

Darcie

     
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Total Posts: 271

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi again Darcie,

First, perhaps you could slim down the picture file size by cropping it down a bit, or by using your picture manager to slim the file size.

Secondly, Solitary bees are active for just a few weeks, so the chances are that not long after the nest has been sealed the activity period will be over.  Then all will be quiet until around the same time period next year, when this year’s children hatch out - assuming they have got through the winter.
In my experience, they are relatively unlikely to use the same nest location.
But you could try popping one of the bamboo stem bee-nesters somewhere in your garden.

Yours     Clive