In July this year I started to tidy my neglected garden and was about to demolish a dilapidated compost heap when I noticed a large number of bumble bees going in and out of it! I of course abandoned my plans and instead watched the busy bees and felt privileged they had chosen my garden. By the middle of August however the bees disappeared, which seemed a bit early for them to have left, but I assume this must be the case.
I would still like to clear the old compost but am worried I may disturb hibernating bees, is this possible?
Welcome to the forum! It’s good that you were able to hold off from turning your compost for a while, and it’s likely that the nest has just died naturally now. Bumblebee nests finish any time from mid- to late-summer, so it’s entirely possible that yours had completed its cycle, and ended. You can read more on what happens to bumblebees in late summer on our website: http://bumblebeeconservation.org/news/anthonys-blog/what-happens-to-bumblebees-in-autumn
Thank you Anthony for the useful info and link. I look forward to a potential bumble bee visit next year?!