Large Bumble Bees Nest

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FenBee 

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I sail a dinghy on a local lake, but have not been down to the sailing club recently, as I am repairing my boat. A committee member 'phoned me to say there was a large nest of bumble bees by one of the dinghies and was causing concern to everyone that had to pass them and the dinghy owner. One option was to call in a pest controller to kill them, but no one wanted to do this, could I do something ...

I went down yesterday and there was some activity, not a great deal, but what was odd to me, was there was about three queens, the bees by the way are Bombus locorum or White-tailed bumble bees and are quite common around my area. So yesterday evening I inspected under a 2' square paving slab with a view to removing them and the sound was just amazing, I thought it was a passing train! Anyway, I am going to modify a National brood box to act a new home and include a couple of old frames, nailed in place with some honey. I may well need to use Jim's pipe method to entice them to use the brood box. One I have most of them I plan to most the nest in to the brood box in the late evening.

Does this sound like a workable plan?
 

DulwichGnome 

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The best thing is to leave them be, as you know.:)

I managed to remove a nest last year only to have them die on me becauce the floor was not vented enough and the nest went soggy.:(

Remember that Bumbles can have multiple entrances and a nest can spread very wide.

Mike.
 

FenBee 

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Thanks for telling me about the floor, if I do manage to move them and I would prefer to let them stay where they are, I shall ensure that the floor of the brood box is drilled and they have a number of entrances to the box. I shall also put the box on bricks as this will reduce moisture ingress.
 

DulwichGnome 

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From the North London Beekeepers web site,
"Sometimes it is only necessary to put a few flower pots near the nest so that the bees are made to fly upwards as they emerge. In this way bees and humans live in harmony."
Could your rowers live with them if you did this, or if you used Jim's pipe to redirct them away from the path.

From what I read up about it you will need to gig the site up in the winter so you don't get the sample problem next year.
 

FenBee 

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Thanks Jim and Mike for your comments, very helpful, I did ask if the owners of the sailing dinghies near the bees could live with them if I modified the site, but the answer was a firm no.

The reason is the dinghies are berthed close together and the bees were under a paving slab in between two boats. One boat owner needed to turn his boat over for maintenance the other day, the boat went down with a bump and caused a defense response from the bumble bees, which resulted in him being stung. But, everyone was for moving the bees and not destroying them which is positive.

This evening I lifted the paving slab and the nest, to my surprise was not that large, no other nests and the ground below the site was firm. So I lifted the nest with a small shovel and carefully placed it in a modified National brood box with a which had a frame with some honey. As I felt this was some compensation for being moved. Waited and help the stragglers in to their new home and then took them to the new site.

They are now sited on a couple of breeze blocks in my wild flower meadow, so hopefully they will settle in OK. The only annoyance is I forgot to take my camera, so no picture s of the nest, sorry everyone. But, I shall take a picture of the box and hopefully some bees coming and going.

Thanks again, Mike.:cheers2:
 

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