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my bumblebee nest boxes

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Joined 2014-05-14

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Hello,

As promised in my first topic, here are some pics of the nest boxes in my garden. 

On the picture where you can see 2 new nest boxes: the one on the left is one I bought in Germany and the one on the right is self-made.  Both have guests: bombus terrestris

The one with the test tube is the first one I made in 2012.  It had a common carder bee in it in 2013.  And this year, I’m trying to identify which type is in it.  (see other topic in ID, variant of bombus lapidarius?)

They are all equipped with a small plastic door to prevent the bee moth (aphomia sociella) from entering into the nest.  The 2 new nest boxes also have a pre-building part in which is foreseen a bee moth trap.  You can’t see it on these pictures here.  If you want, I can post some more pics.

All of them are set with feet in the water, so ants can’t find a way to the honey.  They are placed in the shadow.

Kind regards,
Andrew

 

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2014-05-14

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For those interested, here are 3 more pictures: 

- one of a nest box waiting for queen in spring 2013.  The moss attracts the queens.

- the “pre-building” part is open with a ramp to the opening.  The right side is the bee moth trap.  You can hardly see it on this pic but it has 2 openings closed with mosquito net.  It allows air to flow through it so that the moth is attracted by the smell at to the rear side and not at the small plastic door side.  You can’t see the inside of the trap as it is closed on this pic.  The sides are covered with carpet tape (double sided tape). 

- the bee moth trap opening rear-side

For those who like details, on the “pre-building” open pic, you can see that there is a small piece of wood at the ceiling.  It’s a guide to put a sliding door along it.  The sliding door has been removed on the pic.  During the first weeks, it prevents light from entering into the pre-building when the queen is discovering the nest.  It also prevents from cold air entering the nest in the first weeks when temperature is still low.

Kind regards,
Andrew

     

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Total Posts: 9

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On these 3 pics:

- you can see the lateral holes for aeration covered with mosquito net.
- the carton box which contains the nest.  The carton box has also al lot of 2-3 mm small holes in the upper part to allow evaporation.
- the inside of the carton is filled with kapok.  Kapok is a natural fibre which bumblebees can handle and put in small pieces.  Kapok is a good insulator is very hydrofuge so it will prevent from moisture and mouldiness.    Never use cosmetic cotton wool as bumblebees get knot in it.

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2014-05-14

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This is the bird nest box I used to move my first bumblebee nest.

Bird nest box are not really suited for the bumblebees.  They are too small and there’s no correct aeration.  Later on, I improve it with a pre-building part so that landing was easier.  But still it lacks of aeration on hot days.  The bees come out of it.  However, the goal was achieved as new queens were born.

Surpringsly,  several common carder queens born last year in this small box came back this year.  So it seems they remember the place or smell it.  A month ago I even saw two queens entering the nest at 2 minutes interval.  I think once a nest box has been occupied the year before, it will be easier to attract queens the next year.

 

     

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