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Males - voluntary nest departure or eviction?

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Total Posts: 12

Joined 2014-06-09

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Just wondering what research has been done into the question of to what extent males leave their nests voluntarily and to what extent they are evicted by the workers.

My house has an air brick outside the kitchen.  The inner vent to this was blocked off in January 2013 when we had a new boiler installed, and I think the wall cavities had been filled with insulation here many years ago.  Last year and this year we’ve had bumblebess nesting in the space behind the air brick.  Not sure which species it was last year, but this years are definitely B hypnorum.

Last year on a couple of occasions I saw what I was pretty sure was males being evicted.  Towards the end a mass of silken threads appeared around most of the holes in the air brick, so I’m guessing the wax moth larvae were in there.  This year, however, I haven’t actually seen any males evicted, though I have some indirect evidence that suggests that some may have been.

Just wondering what the state of current scientific knowledge on this point was, really.

Thanks
Adrian