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Urgent help please

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Joined 2014-05-14

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Today I moved a bag of chicken bedding from a small shed to the chicken run and only discovered that bumblebees had nested in it when I was chased and stung by one. It has only moved 15ft but the bees are returning to the shed looking lost and not the nest. I can’t move it back because they are active still. I will try and move it after dark but will the bees survive without it to return to? I haven’t seen any bees go back into the bag but when a few minutes ago I tried to move it again there was activity inside and I left quickly! 
Apart from putting it back after dark is there anything else I can do?
They are the smaller type of bumblebees .

     
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Total Posts: 272

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi Ali,

Welcome to the Forum.  I will try to help.

The bees know where their nest is to an accuracy of about a foot in 3D space, but they will recognise it’s location from local landmarks.

If you move the nest too far, they will fly back to where they think it should be, then start circling around to try to locate it - recognising it by the smell that their feet leave behind.
That said, they can usually cope with a move of about 1 - 2 metres - sometimes more.

So, could you move the thing with the nest in it back a bit towards the original location: and might you be able to put what was a prominent object close the the nest in it’s original location back to about the same distance from it’s new location ?  (i.e. Move a landmark in register !)

If you move it after dark, the bees shouldn’t fly.  They don’t have red-vision sensitivity, so you could use light from a red-torch like a cycle rear light so you can see what you are doing !  Wear long washing-up gloves.  Direct your breath AWAY from the bees.

It would also be helpful if you could take a photo of the bees and post it here so we can identify the species.  (300 kb is the max file size acceptable for the Forum.

If the bee sting causes much pain and swelling, try taking an anti-histamine tablet, as for Hay Fever.

I hope this helps !      Good luck with the problem.                Yours       Clive