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HM Honey 

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I have had so many calls this year from people who need help with Bumble Bees. Does anyone else on here who collect swarms, ever go out to help people with Bumble Bees? If so, what action do you take with them and what sort of reaction do you get from them?

I went and moved a bird box with a colony in the other week because it was right outside someones back door and was causing them all sorts of problems. That one was an easy one though as I just waited until dark, taped over the entrance and moved the box to a diferent part of the garden.

Last night though, a lady called who had some bees that had taken up residence in an empty rabbit hutch. She had originally phoned a pest controller who said they were honey bees. She sent me a photo and they turned out to be tree bumbles.

Any ideas on how I could move these?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I went out to one last year - it was a nice day anyway the location, although a bit far, was a nice drive.
The person who called was 'of an age' and lived with her (very) elderly mother on a remote smallhoding, her husband having gone his own way, she had a bumble nest under a pallet in her haybarn (ideal location, loads of hay around, nice and snug under the floor) but it was now in the way of her moving fodder around - every time she went to one side of the barn, out spilled the bumbles - and it was a big nest. impossible to move so all I did was shift a few bales etc around (and on top of the nest) so she could still get to the far end of the barn without disturbing them. Then spent an hour gabbing about Welsh springer spaniels, Harris hawks and hunting (last time SWMBO accompanies me on a swarm callout!!)
 

Chris Luck 

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You could start by explaining that they are docile and that it's almost impossible to be stung by them even when you pick them up and handle them and that they should be pleased to have them.

All the time we "take them away" we continue to encourage an ignorance of the natural world.

I have them in the walls outside my doorways and have no issues either with visitors or my dogs.

Chris
 
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Ben90 

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I got called out to someone around the corner the other day who turned out to have a tree bumblebee nest in the eaves above her kitchen. I just assured her that they're harmless and won't be there for more than this year, and she was happy to leave them.

If you absolutely have to move them, then you need to do it by night, and you need to use red light, which they can't see. If their nest is entirely in straw or something like that, then try to move the whole thing while disturbing the nest itself as little as possible, and cover them in a well ventilated box for transport. As for what to do with them in the longer term, well, they can usually live out of something like a nuc box, as long as you reduce the entrance to a couple of cm (bumblebees don't like wide entrances). Any weatherproof box with a small entrance that fits the nest and a quarter should do, though.

Funny how I know this kind of stuff from general entomology but I'm still learning honeybees.:laughing-smiley-004
 

Rich0909 

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Unless you can wrap the whole hutch up in a sheet / mosquito net or similar I wouldn't attempt it - it would need to be secure as tree bumbles get very upset if disturbed. My own experience of them is that they are not aggressive if left alone although others report unprovoked attacks.
I did move a bird box colony a couple of nights ago, once unscrewed and moved the gaffer tape was bulging and stretching from the bees trying to get out, they were very annoyed....
On the other hand I have mowed the grass under a bird box at head height without any reaction, I think sometime people see the drones patrolling outside the colony waiting for virgin queens to emerge and assume they are going to attack them...

Rich
 

clv101 

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I don't know if I'm just more aware this year, but I can't remember ever seeing as many bumbles as I have this year! Too many to count on many beds/plants.
 

Outlander 

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Hi HM, I am getting anything from 5 to 10 calls a day for bumbles, most, people are happy to live with them once the life cycle of the colony is explained to them. I have moved three colonies this season one was above a front door and behind a ceiling board which was unscrewed and made it easy to get to them. The other two were bird boxes. Last night we removed one and recited it on the same property as you did but on reading up today it appears they need to be moved at least 2 km away so may have to sort that one out again. A lot of people are not happy unless you agree to visually check them out to identify them :hairpull: so I charge £5 to make a local call to cover fuel costs. Thinking of putting this up though just to put people off.
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pargyle 

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I don't know if I'm just more aware this year, but I can't remember ever seeing as many bumbles as I have this year! Too many to count on many beds/plants.
No ... exactly the same in my garden in the last two weeks....never seen so many. I wondered, in my case, whether it was the fact that I now had honey bees in the garden. There's not much changed from previous years other than that ... the cumfrey is in bloom and they love that but it's too early for the loostrife round the pond yet which usually attracts them. Bizarre ... perhaps it's the weather patterns that favour bumbles but I can't see how ?
 

DarynWebb 

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I had another bumble call today so I explained they are fine if left alone so now they are staying,I've got a box of tree bumbles right out side my back door that I brought home a few weeks ago (had to be moved due to it's location), they seem calm they don't come in the house or bother me or the cats.
 

clv101 

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Watching the hive entrance yesterday afternoon, I saw a bumble land and walk straight into the hive. It didn't come out again within the few minutes I was watching.
 

Rich0909 

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I don't know if I'm just more aware this year, but I can't remember ever seeing as many bumbles as I have this year! Too many to count on many beds/plants.
At least 100 on my phacelia patch at the allotment at 8pm last night plus many more on the raspberries, they certainly seemed to have survived the wet summer last year and cold spring this year ok, if not thrived. I have taken some photos so I can try and identify the different species...
 

madasafish 

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Yes
see post #10 http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=24220

"I removed a nest of them last year from a garden with children. They were dive bombing anyone within 5 meters of their bird box nest next to the kids' swing. I had to veil up to remove them - box and all.
Resited in our garden at the bottom where they lived happily until autumn - bothering no-one.

Very aggressive."




Don't normally.. explain about bumbles being inoffensive, die in autumn etc.

that case was VERY different.
 

davnig 

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Watching the hive entrance yesterday afternoon, I saw a bumble land and walk straight into the hive. It didn't come out again within the few minutes I was watching.
I had similar last night - but it did get kicked out - fair dos it tried about 10 times before giving up and flying away
 

Ben90 

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Watching the hive entrance yesterday afternoon, I saw a bumble land and walk straight into the hive. It didn't come out again within the few minutes I was watching.
I've seen a few buff-tailed bumblebees hovering around the hive entrance, though none have actually gone inside. They seem to do a few circuits around the hive, under it, fly over the alighting board a few times, then hover in front of the entrance, and then either leave or rinse and repeat.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Hi HM, I am getting anything from 5 to 10 calls a day for bumbles, most, people are happy to live with them once the life cycle of the colony is explained to them.
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i will always visit for free but never move them just give advice, however our swarm Co-ordinator charges £50 call out and £35 per hour to move bumbles, so that's £85 to move. That's OTT as far as I am concerned but he says the adjoining association charges the same but think he is in it for the money as well as saving wildlife
s
Bombus hypnorum the new Tree Bumble Bees is very much more aggressive than our native bumbles, I am loath to give the standard advice over the phone unless they are in the ground or low down

the Tree bumble bee is causing lots of call out, any slight vibration and they are out in number defending their nest and then attack your head (CO2?)..I .had two yesterday where the owner had killed them with wasp spray before i arrived as their kids got stung...normally i don't put the veil up on for bumbles, but I am now veiling up if bumbles in eves or shed roofs as more likely to be bombus hypnorum
 
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Ely 

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Charging stupid money like that will see people poisoning them rather than moving them as not many people can afford it. Stupidity
 

susbees 

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Ben90;338160 If you absolutely have to move them said:
Hmmm...I use red light regularly, hiving swarms at night, checking mininucs sometimes etc....but had to move a bumble nest last night from inside a tight loft hatch under six inches of insulation. The workers were hopping mad....and bombed the red light (not mine - a red rabbiting light...similar reaction to swarm collection in the dark with a small portable flood light. Survivors camped under the caravan in a field...

Daily bumble bee calls...dealt with three more yesterday.
 

429bettsy 

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I have had about 10 calls in the last week all sounding like bumbles. A couple of callers were really troubled by their prescence so I went and removed them. One was in a bird box so I now am the proud owner of a new bird box complete with sitting tennents and the other one I moved to a nice nature reserve nearby.
 

HM Honey 

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I have just had another call today from someone with what sound like tree bumbles in a conservatory roof space. I explained that there is no easy way to move them but they should be fine etc if left alone.

I must have had 20 calls in the last couple of week for bumbles and i always say that if they are not causing a problem, the caller should leave them be and ignore them.

I was however speaking to a guy the other day and as soon as I told him they rarely sting, he responded by telling me his gardener had been stung twice in the face after mowing near the bird box they were in.....lol....oops

If I do go out, I charge nothing more than £30 and always on the basis that I will only move them to another part of the garden where they wont cause problems (not take them away).

The reason I posted this was to get suggestions due to the aggression of the bees while moving the nest, but the suggestion of covering the nest with something breathable is very helpful.

Down to asda I go to invest in a "Bumble Bee Relocation Sheet"......lol
 

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