Bombus Hypnorum

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New Bee
Mar 27, 2009
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Winchester, Hampshire
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I had a call today from someone who had contacted the local BKA as they had bees in a bird box in their garden. I guessed from the description on the phone that they weren't honey bees. As far as I can tell, I think they are Bombus Hypnorum.
The bees are in a bird box which is screwed to the wall of the house. They are quite aggressive, and are not happy when anyone gets close. The box is right by their back door, so this is causing them a problem, and it needs to be moved.
I think I can probably block the entrance of the bird box with something and unscrew it from the wall. Will they be ok if I do this? Does the 3 feet, or three miles rule apply to these bees, as the owners of the house would like me to move them elsewhere in the garden.
Any advice would be appreciated.:)
Is Bombus hypnorum the one that looks a bit like the white tailed bumble bee, but isn't and is rarer, smaller and more aggressive? If so, there was a small colony at the nature reserve that houses the club apiary. The nature manager was standing guard to protect the new beekeepers in suits from coming too close in case they got stung!! I asked him his plan and he said he was going to move it 15 metres away, away from the path. When I said what about the 3 feet or 3 miles rule, he said it didn't apply, and when I looked at him sceptically, he got annoyed with me and pointed out another colony that he had already successfully moved the week before to the other side of the garden.
Well moved them tonight, about 20 feet away from where they were. I blocked the entrance to the bird box with a piece of gauze and a couple of drawing pins.
Not sure its worked well though, as there are quite a few bees circling around the old location of the box. Time will tell.....
Got a nice bottle of red wine for doing it anyway :)
there are quite a few bees circling around the old location of the box.
Do you think you got the timing too early or too late, so not all the foragers were in the box, of maybe you have discovered that there is a rule about how far you can move bumble bees?
I think I got there a bit early, as there were still a few flying - not ideal, but I think most of them were in the box when I moved it. Glad I had my bee suit on. They weren't too amused about it!

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