Bumblebee Nests

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Mal
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Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 93688Post Mal »

Anyone out there had any luck creating bumblebee nests in their garden?

I want to encourage them but the bumblebee conservation trust implies that no nest boxes commercially available have been particularly useful. I've heard that a teapot buried with the spout emerging from the top of the soil is a good one but I can't decide if that's genius or madman.

MKG
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Post: # 93720Post MKG »

Under the shed has always worked for me. Poke a few shallow holes (finger width, if that) in the soil. The bees will do the rest. (If there are already some holes there, leave well alone).

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Post: # 93758Post QuakerBear »

They're not as fluffy and cute as bumble bees but mason bees are also really useful for polinating. You know the really thick bamboo canes? Well the hole in the thick end of them is just the right size for mason bees.

Tie a bundle of them, about a hands length long, together and place them horizontally at about head hight against a wall or tree so the ends stick out. The bee will lay an egg in the bottom, cover it with a paper seal, then lay another egg, cover that with a paper seal and so on. The egg at the bottom is the oldest since it was layed first. After it has pupated it chews through its paper seal and basically bites the bottom of the bee in the next cell, which prompts that bee to chew through it's paper seal and bite the bottom of tne next bee. Eventually they're all out and fly away happily to polinate your crops. :lol:
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Post: # 93866Post Jack »

Gidday

I wouldn't reckon mason bees would be any good to encourage because they eat spiders and spider are on our side.
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Post: # 93899Post Millymollymandy »

Darned Mason bees are always blocking up the drainage holes in our window frames!!!

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Post: # 98322Post Helsbells »

I have a bee box nest thingy it is for the fluffy bumble bees and is made by wildlife worldhttp://item.express.ebay.co.uk/Home-Gar ... xpressItem looks like this.

However, I was wondering, does anyone know if bees hate varnish a wood filler, cos outr has a knot on the top which lets water in?

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Sky
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Post: # 98344Post Sky »

We had a nest in our compost heap where we lived before.
We brought the compost with us to this house and the nest was empty by then. The kids (and me) were fascinated at the huge round papery cells.

Mal
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Post: # 99301Post Mal »

I wouldn't reckon mason bees would be any good to encourage because they eat spiders and spider are on our side.
Just to be pedantic, mason bees don't eat spiders, in fact no bees anywhere in the world eat meat with the exception of vulture bees which feed on carrion.

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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 134396Post Nomada »

I know a little smidgin about bees, I've worked on them before, they're my favourite little creatures. Some underground nesting species like to seek out rodent's nests. A little bit of soiled bedding from a mouse (ask the local pet shop maybe) might do the trick for attracting them in. There is another method but it involves trapping a nest seeking queen and forcing her to stay, not very good if you're making her stay in an area where there's not enough forage for her. Quakerbears idea about encouraging mason bees is brilliant, those kinds of nest work really well, plus you get loads of species in them, a few solitary wasps too but these are not agressive.
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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 140915Post eek »

They didn't seem to mind the varnish or stain on my front door when they ate all the way through that. They seem to love the deck stain as well. I wouldn't encourage mason bees if you live in a wood sided home.

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Elizabeth
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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 140923Post Elizabeth »

Have a look at this site for bumblebee homes;

http://www.koppert.com/Pollination.13772.0.html

I found this after being curious about the bumble bee homes in those massive glass houses to grow more british salad.

Looks like the same boxes.
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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 149317Post grubbysoles »

OK, so I'm a bit behind with this one - have only just noticed this thread, over 2 months later. I'm really keen to encourage bees to our garden (especially as I have forked out for a bundle of fruit trees this spring) - is it too late in the season now to get a nest box for the bumble bees? I love bumble bees, they are so cute!! I wanted to get a bee hive for some honey bees but Mr. Grubbysoles has laid down the law on that one :( Maybe he will comprmise if I just call in the cute, fluffy ones. :wink:

I'm guessing I might have missed the boat, though, and need to wait until next spring???

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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 149338Post Annpan »

I don't see why you shouldn't try one of the free ones, eg.
MKG wrote:Under the shed has always worked for me. Poke a few shallow holes (finger width, if that) in the soil. The bees will do the rest. (If there are already some holes there, leave well alone).
... we haven't got any nesting here yet but there are loads around this year - I think they are still looking for nests, I keep seeing them buzz the wood piles.
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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 149339Post snapdragon »

Early flowering bushes seem to attract them - i have three flowering now and the bumble bees are all over them, later in early summer we'll have another three which they seem to like also. I know they nest on the railway line behind the house - it's on an embankment and sheltered from the prevailing winds but they could be in the garden too.
The masons !! ahhh I really must make some homes for them as the fence they used to use has been replaced by nextdoors.
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Mal
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Re: Bumblebee Nests

Post: # 149717Post Mal »

I saw a few queens out looking for nest sites at the weekend, although my pulmonaria are getting a few workers now - bumblebee and solitary bees - so obviously some are fairly well established. I'm just beginning to work on some nest box plans, I figure that they'll need some time to stop smelling of human so if I get them in now, they might be used next spring.

I'm going to look for some more pulmonaria for next year too - it was by far the earliest flower I had and the only thing in my back garden pulling the bees in. The heathers out the front are looking good as well. Might get a couple of those out back as well.
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