Welcome guest, please Login or Register

Welcome to BBCT Forum Home

You are here: HomeForum Home → Bumblebee forums → Bumblebee nests → Thread

   

Different Species - Same entrance?

Rank

Total Posts: 1

Joined 2014-05-31

PM

Hi there, I was hoping you guys would be able to give me some advice.

I have noticed that there are bumblebees entering into holes in the house (one hole under a window, one in a soffit board on one side, and one on the other side)

What I’ve also noticed though, is that the majority of the bees seem to have white tails, and I think they are tree bumblebees, I see the occasional red tailed bumblebee entering the hole under the window and not leaving for a while, while the white tailed are also going in.

Could anyone explain what is happening here?

I would assume that both types are nesting here, but I have seen so few red tailed compared to white that it wouldn’t make sense to me that only a few would make a nest?

I will try my best to get a picture, but I’m actually terrified of them, and while I realise they won’t sting unless provoked, I can just about deal with them being there (only because they’re there for one season), but am not sure if I’m up to getting close enough for a picture (it’s silly, I know)

Anyway, I hope someone can help me with this

Thanks smile

     
Rank

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2014-06-02

PM

I also have the same issue. I seem to have tree bumblebees and red tailed bees using the same bird box. The red tailed bees appeared first. I didn’t notice the tree bees until recently when I large number of males started hanging around outside.

They both use the same nest entrance. The pictures below are very poor, but the area is shaded and they were all I could get yesterday. Having seen both up close I’m pretty confident of the species type, but is it normal for them to share a nest?

I’ll put up some better photos if I can manage it. Although, it is due to rain for most of the rest of the week.

     

Image Attachments

DSC_0025.jpg

Click thumbnail to see full-size image

Rank

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2014-06-02

PM

Remaining images..

     

Image Attachments

DSC_0073.jpg

Click thumbnail to see full-size image

Rank

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2014-06-02

PM

Last image..

     

Image Attachments

DSC_0071.jpg

Click thumbnail to see full-size image

RankRankRankRank

Total Posts: 272

Joined 2012-05-24

PM

Hi “ekudamran” and “lucyb”

Your “posts” are fascinating !

“lucyb” it would certainly appear that you have both species at least interested in the nest box.
Have you seen any bees carrying in pollen ?
If so, which species is doing so ?
Please let us know !

“ekudamran”
Please do try to get some photos showing us the bees. 
The pictures don’t have to be all that sharp for us to be able to work out the species involved, so take them form a distance, then crop the photo down to show the bee better.

There is an article of mine about Tree Bumblebees tucked away in the “About Bees” area of this website.
Here is a quick link to it. 
Hopefully it will give you some background about the bee.

http://bumblebeeconservation.org/images/uploads/Tree_bee_article.pdf

We do know that Tree Bumblebee male bees have once been seen doing their “Nest Surveillance” activities outside a small honey bee colony which had a virgin queen waiting to be mated.

If either of you are having “Nest Surveillance” take place outside a Red Tailed bumblebee colony, that would be yet another interesting fact we have learnt about the species.

Comments please !

Yours,      Clive

     
Rank

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2014-06-02

PM

Thanks Clive. I’ve been watching them when I have time, but the positioning of the bird box is really bad for photography. Then, quite unexpectedly the nest went very quiet a week or so ago. There’s still the odd bee around outside, but I’ve not seen anything go in or out of the nest. I thought they’d be here for another month at least!

Prior to that, I had seen both tree and red-tailed bees go into the nest. I wasn’t sure what the bees looked like with full pollen sacs, but I’ve managed to get a few images of bees flying into the box.

Red-tailed bees:
One
Two
Three (terrible quality sorry, but I think the white blobs might be pollen sacs?)

Tree bees:
Four
Five
Six