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Uncovered ground nest

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Joined 2017-06-16

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Hello, I would like to know if I am doing the right thing. And would be great full for any advice

I have uncovered a bees nest in my lawn. I have been clearing a fence and some junk left by a previous owner. When i lifted a piece of the junk it was full of (what i believe to be)  bumble bees. and i could see some of the nest as well as some yellow capsule like substance.
I have replaced the piece but i discovered that a piece i have moved earlier had also exposed the nest. The trouble being that I believe the pieces of junk to be asbestos, so I really need to get it disposed of.

I plan to move the remaining pieces at night so not to disturb them too much, then maybe place a box or something round and over the nest as it is now exposed.

Edit. I have just been out to check on them and they have covered the exposed parts with grass cuttings, fantastic little workers.  I will still be looking to box it in as I want to avoid   it with the lawnmower.

Added pic

     

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Joined 2014-09-21

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Hallo Pete
This is a quick reply.  From your photograph and description I think that this is the Common Carder Bumblebee.  This is a surface nesting bumblebee that rakes together little bits of dry grass and dead vegetation to make its nest.  Hence the name “carder” - because it combs the cuttings together.  This small heap is usually exposed so that it collects the warmth of the sun under the “thatch”.  The rule is to keep the amount of disturbance to a minimum if possible.  The workers have to remember landmarks to help them navigate back to the nest when they return from a foraging expedition.  The more you disturb the site the more difficult this becomes.  I suggest you mark the nest with a few stout sticks and mow round them!!  Best of luck.  I hope the nest survives.
SteveF
18 June 2017
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Thank you for your reply, I will do just as you say with the sticks, and try not to disturb the area any more than I have.

Unfortunately I have had to remove the pieces of asbestos from nearby, but the bees have continued to build their thatch so I hope they are alright.

Thanks again for your insight, I have another picture of the nest, now covered by the bees.

     

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Hallo Pete
Thank you for the up-date.  It looks as though the workers are making a good job of the repair.  As a result of your sensitive approach there is a good chance that this nest will go on to maturity.  I have read previously that the workers chew off fibres of moss and use this material for building their nest - and that appears to be exactly what your bumblebees are doing.  The Common Carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) has a long tongue and is an important pollinator of foxgloves and scarlet runner beans.  It also has a fairly long nesting season and your nest may last into September or even early October.  Good luck!
SteveF
19 June 2017
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Hi Pete & SteveF,
Nice pic of your nest Pete.
I find that the last few B. pasc bumbles here in my garden [VC55] always seem to be around until about the first week in November [bonfire night bumbles…...] then they are gone, end of their annual life cycle..  Urbanbumble

     
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Thank you Steve and Urbanbumble
The thatch is still growing well, I go out to check on them early in the mornings and there is a flurry of activity with workers collecting for the nest. I’m looking forward to seeing more activity over the coming months.
Just glad the asbestos was there so I stopped strimming and mowing, otherwise I might not have noticed and destroyed the nest.