A few weeks ago I found a nest (white tailed?) in an open fronted nest box - the type recommended for robins etc . It is in a beech hedge and about head height from the ground facing north east. It has been very active with many bees going to and fro but in the last few days, the weather has become very much cooler with a north easterly breeze (Northumberland) and whilst there are bees in the garden, the nest is silent. Is this normal? have they died or is this a weather related issue. I can’t see inside without disturbing the hedge and box. Any suggestions please?
Did you identify what bumble species you have from the BBCT charts? Several have white tails and there are bumbles other than the “Tree Bees” that use bird boxes [eg: Bombus terrestris]. It sounds very much as if your bumbles have reached the end of their life cycle. The new queens and drones will have emerged, and the mated queens will be feeding up prior to hibernation - it is normal for all the others to eventually die. Hopefully your new queens will emerge next year and successfully start off the process once again. They are the future of their species.
It’s interesting that your bumbles have used an open-fronted nest box rather than a blue tit box.
Thanks for your reply, the bees entering and exiting the box were too quick for me to make a proper identification but an educated guess would be lucorum or hortorum they definitely have white tails. I checked again a couple of times today and there is some activity around the box but nothing has entered. I understand your explanation and hope to have more next year. The box is one I made myself and I think is a little too deep hence no birds but very happy to have some bumbles!