Hallo Kevin and Urbanbumble
Kevin - you haven’t told us what species of bumblebees you have been seeing in your garden in Carmarthenshire so far. Have you seen any workers?
Yesterday (Tuesday 18 April) on a walk through mixed countryside along the valley of the River Pang west of Reading there were several B.hortorum queens and B.pascuorum queens on white dead nettle on roadside verges. Very little else. In a small village there was a ditch full of comfrey (a garden escapee) in full sunshine at midday. Warm in the sunshine but a cool wind blowing. There were 4 different kinds of workers. There were several B.pratorum, a few B.terrestris, one B.hypnorum and one B.hortorum. Also several B.hortorum and B.hortorum queens and one B.lapidarius queen. Elsewhere just one B.terrestris queen nest searching. These workers reflect what I am also seeing in NE Hampshire.
In my garden I have an old refurbished bird nesting box which has been cleaned out and restocked with suitable nesting material for bumblebees. On 4 days during the last week I have seen a B.hypnorum queen going into this box and I am hopeful that she will soon successfully establish a nest. I also put a bumblebee nest box under my garden shed (very awkward to observe). During the last two days there have been a small number of workers leaving and entering. I think this is a B.hortorum nest - but have still to confirm this.
21:50 Wednesday 19 April 2017