I have a friend down the road, 2 miles, that has I say around 50 bumblebees nesting \ flying around his shed. I'm not sure if calling it a shed is correct. Imagine a eight car garage with the garage doors removed, anyways they are flying in and out of holes in the 2" x 4". The holes are just big enough so the bumble bees and get in and out, he believes that they actually made the holes. I stood there and watch him trying to kill them by swatting them with his homemade bumblebee swatter, he also waited for bumblebees to enter one of the holes then plugged it with a stick. I was wondering if there was some way that I could collect the bumble bees and hive them down at my place? As I understand it there's a queen. I have no idea were she would be since I didn't see a bumble bee nest, they were nesting \ flying in and out of holes, probably around 50 holes, in the 2" x 4" along the ceiling and vertical supports.
Sounds like carpenter bees not bumblebees
Thanks [SIZE="4"]shawnwri[/SIZE] We thought they were bumblebees. I think I'll pass on trying to bring them down to my place .
Last edited by betrbekepn; 07-22-2007 at 05:44 PM.
Carpenter bees are excellent pollinators if you have an orchard or some other pollination need that they handle well. The do rob blueberry flowers though, but do not prevent them from being pollinated by other bees. But there is that structure infestation thing that can be bad if you have a wooden structures. I had them in the eves of a house once, since it wasn't a load bearing area of the house I wasn't too concerned. They are very skilled at not breaking their tunnels through the side of the wood. I wonder how they sense that?
Yeah, once they get started in an area they will keep going until it is just riddled with holes. If your neighbor wants the shed to stay up, he need to encourage them to go elsewhere. Offering them a 4x4 of rough cut cedar is good, and then poison/evict them from the shed.
I've read that a pyrethrin based insecticide put into the holes and then sealing them up will solve the problem. Sealing the hole alone will not kill them - the larvae will just tunnel out next spring and start all over again.
They don't seem to like painted wood nearly as well either, so after the poison and sealing is done, give it a coat of paint.
I mentioned to my friend that you guys thought they were carpenter bees. He said they're not. He told me that those holes are about twice as big as carpenter bees. He showed me that he had carpenter bee holes also, yep they're about half the size. He told me that when he lived in Arkansas, he'd find bumble bees nesting in hole riddled logs. What's your guys thoughts?
Also, the title to this thread is "Hiving Bumblebees?". Curious, if I were to come across a bumble bee nest, is it possible to hive them?
Last edited by betrbekepn; 09-09-2007 at 08:15 PM.
For bumblebees, you have to catch young queens in spring, confine them, help get them started, then can release them for foraging. See the book in "Resources"
As for your friends bees, I don't know what they are, but carpenter bees come in a variety of sizes. The common ones we have around here are the largest common bees we have. They are much larger than bumble bees. If they have a corbicula on their legs for pollen collection, like honey bees, they are bumble bees. If they collect pollen on their body hairs instead, they are going to be carpenter bees (as far as I know).
I had some bumblebees nesting in some railroad ties out back. They were going in and out of holes in the ties too. I know the difference between bumbles and carpenters.
The carpenter bees in Kansas are as large as the average bumblebees. Other bees (such as leaf cutter bees) will also "drill" holes in wood for nesting. If the bees are using many holes in a log/board, they're likely carpenter bees. If they're all using one hole (shared), they may be bumblebees.
In Kansas, it's too late to successfully transfer a colony of bumblebees and have it survive. You could try overwintering some new queens, and hopefully get some of them to establish colonies next spring.