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Bumbles in a compost heap

 
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Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 12 12:37 pm    Post subject: Bumbles in a compost heap  Reply with quote    

I have at least 2 bumble-bee nests in my compost heap, which is nice, but I'll want to use it at some point.

When would be best for me to do something, and what should that something be(e)?

I'd quite like to keep the bees, and my planting and lack of maintenance in areas was designed to attract them.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 12 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you can leave them alone till winter they will die out naturally.
They produce drones & fertile females in the late summer which go off to mate & the new mated queens find somewhere to hibernate for the winter before starting a new colony in the spring.
The remaining workers don't survive, as unlike honey bees they don't lay down stores to feed on through the winter.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 12 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wotcha NL

Nice problem to have

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 12 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

He just uses us.

I had a similar experience and just left them alone until winter.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10822

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 12 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I agree with Tavascarow. They will die out over winter and then you can use the heap without disturbing them. They sometimes start the colony in old mouse nests, so look out for mice that have stayed put.

You can use parts of the heap that they are not in, but don't disturb the area around their entrance holes, as they get very disorientated if you do and can't find their way in.

We had this problem in the woods when badgers went for the bumble bee nests; lots of lost bees in the same area but unable to find the way in. The badgers also went for a hornets nest but we never did find who came off best in that encounter.

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