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HyperUniverse 

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Hi,

I have never kept bees, so I got no knowledge of anything related to them.

I do not want to become a mass production bee keeper,

Is just that I have an old bird's house in my little garden, and some bees have taken it last year.

Now it looks like they are too many bees for the little bird's house, as every evening when they come to sleep, they almost are hanging out of the bird's house, all cramming at the entrance.

So I decide to help them move into a larger box.

And that's why I have registered here on this forum, to get some expert advice on how to do it.

Like I said - I don't know anything.
I don't even want to get their precious honey.
I just want to let them live happily in my garden.
But they obviously need a bigger mansion than they have right now.

Can anybody advise me what and how to do it?

Thanks.

edit: forgot to mention my location is 20 miles north of Manchester UK, if that matters somehow.
 

Erichalfbee 

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How big is the birdhouse?
Are you sure they are honey bees?
Moving bees is not an easy task. Contact Manchester Beekeepers and there may be somebody there who might be able to help you
 

drex 

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A photo of the bees, so we can establish what sort of bees they are, would be a step forward to getting a more direct answer.
 

HyperUniverse 

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Oh, thanks for such quick replies.

Bird's house is no more than 20cm high; 12 cm wide; 12 cm deep (from memory).

I'll check tonight, and also will take some pictures and post them tomorrow.

Thank you,
Regards.
 

dorstrgr2 

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H, hyperuniverse, great post, just how I feel about bees. You put it soo well. No matter how much I have learned about bees, including the most mysterious of all - honey bees, there is something new to learn all the timje every day. As I am pretty certain I am dumber than dumb, my tiny brain just gets totally non-plussed by the techies/brain boxes on this site, or anywhere. My dyscalculia and former hyperactive nature means my butterfly brain wants to process everything super quick, which I just cannot do, especially now I am aged and have been badly affected by common prescription drugs that we are somehow obliged to take.
Have ditched the GP/hospital drugs and now feel I may regain some coherence hopefully.
We have lost all our bees, so this year will be make or break. I did not at the last associaton we joined get any meaningful, sensible, idiot-proof advice and my ex-partner would not ask for their assistance, till it was probably too late.
We went to a bee club on Sunday in London. We were the oldest and where the smoker volunteer did not know how to smoke effectively, he got stung through the surgical gloves while handling the frames. It took more than 25 hours for the sting to subside a bit, so he got quite a bad reaction where the bee got through the glove.
Intrigued to find out what kind of bees have taken residence with you.
 

HyperUniverse 

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Hi all, and thanks for replies.

Please have a look at these pictures.

I have to move them out of there, because I am in the process of building a new shed, bigger than the old one.
So I started building it around the old one, as the new one is so big it will swallow the old one.

But the old little birdhouse must be gone from there, as probably I'll finish the new shed in about 3 weeks, and that's when the old shed must come down.

I could hang it onto the new shed, or on some pole stuck in the middle of the garden, but it seems to me that the bees need a bigger accommodation.
So, now it seems a good time to do that.

Thanks.
 

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drex 

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Bumbles. Not honey bees. I would say impossible to remove nest intact.
Just move the box. You will get no honey from them.
 

enrico 

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Definitely tree bumblebees. They choose bird boxes which is why they have spread through England so fast! The males will hover round the entrance. They are pretty harmless if left alone and when the have gone give the box a good clean. They are good for pollination. Put more bird boxes up and you may get more colonies next year. Make them on the larger side!
Well done for asking and enjoy your bumbles
 

Erichalfbee 

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I have re located tree bumbles for a friend. Block the entrance late at night as tree bumbles do fly in the dusk. Remove the box and put it up somewhere else. Beware though they are defensive.
The will be gone by mid August if you can wait though.
 

HyperUniverse 

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Thanks Dani,

Why, or where will they go in August?
And how do they know to come back to the same box next year, or are these a different swarm of bees that just found the old one built be the predecessors?

Indeed late summer last year I didn't see them anymore, but now they're back.

How do you suggest I move the box?
As you see from the pictures is quite well attached to the old shed, so I suppose there's going to be a lot of hammering, and sawing, and shaking, and whatnot.
Won't all this commotion stress and upset them?

Are my bees any good for pollinating trees and flowers, or are they just useless?

Thanks,
Regards.
 

Erichalfbee 

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It’s a new nest from an overwintering queen.
They are prime pollinators. Very useful indeed.
As for disturbing them yes you will. No two ways round it but at least if you move them somewhere else they have a chance to survive
 
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Thanks Dani,

Why, or where will they go in August?
And how do they know to come back to the same box next year, or are these a different swarm of bees that just found the old one built be the predecessors?

Indeed late summer last year I didn't see them anymore, but now they're back.

How do you suggest I move the box?
As you see from the pictures is quite well attached to the old shed, so I suppose there's going to be a lot of hammering, and sawing, and shaking, and whatnot.
Won't all this commotion stress and upset them?

Are my bees any good for pollinating trees and flowers, or are they just useless?

Thanks,
Regards.
Here's a useful page for you to learn more about them

Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Regarding your question, around August the new queens produced by the nest will go off, mate, and hibernate in some underground burrow. The remaining bees in the nest will simply die off.

Bees don't know to come back to the same nest - it's just a good-size box with bedding material in it, so by chance it has been selected twice in two years.

Is it one of these bird boxes attached by a screw INSIDE the box? Nightmare ..... perhaps ask on your local beekeeping facebook page if a beekeeper can come and move them. I would do if it was near me.
 

HyperUniverse 

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I have two identical bird boxes on the same side of the same shed.

About 3 - 4 years ago the bees were inhabiting the other birdhouse, while this one was indeed occupied by some little birds.

Now there's no more birds, and the bees are just in this box; the other box is vacant.

As for the new location.
Shall I put it on a pole in the middle of my garden between trees and flowers, about 3 - 4 meters away from current location?

Shall I put it under a some cover to protect it from the winds and rain?

Shall I put it facing North (as it is right now), or it doesn't matter?

Thanks,
Regards.
 

Erichalfbee 

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As for the new location.
Shall I put it on a pole in the middle of my garden between trees and flowers, about 3 - 4 meters away from current location?

Shall I put it under a some cover to protect it from the winds and rain?

Shall I put it facing North (as it is right now), or it doesn't matter?
Yes to all of that. Facing the same way would be grand.
 
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I have two identical bird boxes on the same side of the same shed.

About 3 - 4 years ago the bees were inhabiting the other birdhouse, while this one was indeed occupied by some little birds.

Now there's no more birds, and the bees are just in this box; the other box is vacant.
Tree bumblebees have a particular liking for a used birds' nest, so this makes sense.
 

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