For two years running I’ve come across underground bumble bee nests which have been dug out. I think badgers are doing this judging by the claw marks around the nests. Why are they doing this?
I’ve read somewhere that badgers do raid bumblebee nests…for grubs and honey? but hopefully one of our experts will have the answer:)
Badgers are well known major predators of BB nests.
I’ve seen attacked nests a number of times.
The badger eats at least the comb and probably bees too, but in the cases I’ve seen, sometimes there has been enough comb and bees left for the colony to survive.
A few years ago, a neighbour had a large hole appear at the top of her garden (~12 “dia and 15” deep). It was a B. pratorum nest that no one knew was there and had been badger attacked.
I gathered up the remnants, put them in a BB box, fed them and re-located them out of flying range. And they should have survived for a few weeks.
A few days back we realised that a small domed bit of moss on our front lawn bank was a P. pascuorum nest.
(It must have been going for 2 -3 months undetected ! )
Some days later, we found that the moss had been partly torn away and the comb was exposed.
There were comb remnants spread about too.
I put some moss back over the exposed nest and so far the colony has kept going.
So I suppose the underlying message is that sometimes you can save the nests, but other times the badger attack knocks them right out.
I will try to add some photos later. Clive