The queens are not like honey bees who leave the colony when they become overcrowded and some leave with a new queen in search of a new nest site, (swarming). This is not the case. Once settled inside the queen stays to lay eft till she dies. The colony may live for 6 weeks or so.
This is very true. Unlike most other bees & wasps, honey-bees do not hibernate (this is why they make an excess of honey for winter fuel). Their strategy for reproduction is also different, rather than creating a batch of queens to survive the winter alone, the colony splits; the current queen will leave with about 60% of the flying bees and as much honey as they can carry. The (yet to emerge) new queen left in the hive will “take over” the colony (queens don’t rule). If the weather is fine, she will leave on a mating flight after a few days of emerging. If further queens are produced, she will leave too, usually as a small swarm known as a cast (often not much bigger than your fist). Some colonies will eject many casts. I’ve known them to take up residence in bird boxes!
Brilliant bird (box) brick design - http://www.dezeen.com/2013/07/16/bird-brick-by-aaron-dunkerton/
Now, where’s the version with a bumble bee sized hole..?
New here so apologies if this is very old news.
These seem to work, I will certainly be setting up something similar for the spring.
I bought a Schwegler Bumblebee box ( german, woodcrete, expensive), about 12 years ago. After no interest for 8 years, I moved it to a different location - base of a south facing fence, under overhanging ivy. It has been used for the last 3 summers, and I have not cleaned it out yet. Next year I am going to take some of the bedding and try it in another box to see if this attracts furher nesting.