Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Oh happy day!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default Oh happy day!

    I uncovered three bumblebee queens while rototilling the garden today. They look like bombus impatiens, which are commonly raised in captivity They're spending the winter in my refrigerator.

    Amazingly, every one of them went through the tines of the tiller, and I stepped on one, but they all look fine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    napoleon ohio
    Posts
    769

    Default

    Look out in the spring the one you steped on might remember!!!!!!!!
    Mitch KD8IMF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default

    That's great!

    Can you tell us more about the location you found them. leaf/straw cover? full sun? about how deep? etc...

    Do you have a protocol for storing them in the frig?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    They were in full sun, fairly soft ground that might have been covered by watermelon vines when they dug in(bare now), they were less than two inches deep. There is a small pile of woodchips nearby but they were at least a foot away from it.

    I've got them in tiny Glad ware containers with lots of slits in the top and bottom and some shredded leaves. I put the small containers in a larger one with a damp paper towel for humidity and then covered it loosely.

    According to Befriending Bumblebees that should do it. hrug:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default

    I've never tried to keep bumblebees alive overwinter. I do know the biology of bumbles. Only the mated queens survive through the winter. Are you trying to keep the workers alive?

    >According to Befriending Bumblebees that should do it. hrug:<

    What does this site say? I'd be interested to see if you can keep the old queen and her workers alive in your frige.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I've never tried to keep bumblebees alive overwinter. I do know the biology of bumbles. Only the mated queens survive through the winter. Are you trying to keep the workers alive?

    >According to Befriending Bumblebees that should do it. hrug:<

    What does this site say? I'd be interested to see if you can keep the old queen and her workers alive in your frige.

    No workers, just three queens that I turned up with the rototiller. I got the procedure from the book, couldn't find it on the web.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default bumbles

    dcross,

    Nice find! Definitely queens. Did you know that you can start a bumble colony in spring with each of the queens that you have found? Main thing you need is a bumble bee nesting box. Easy to make too.

    Morris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    dcross,

    Nice find! Definitely queens. Did you know that you can start a bumble colony in spring with each of the queens that you have found? Main thing you need is a bumble bee nesting box. Easy to make too.

    Morris
    Starting colonies in spring is my goal, planning to make starter boxes soon!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    Cool! I had 'scheduled' to build bumble bee boxes this week, but have been building/rebuilding a goat barn instead. I demolished this old mini barn and am building a new one with the good hardwood thats still there. In a few of the pieces, I cut into carpenter bee tunnels and found overwintering, mature carpenter bees. I put those pieces up in a dry place and hope to re-establish them in the spring. I think carpenter bees have an untapped potential as commercial pollinators, but it may be one of my many hair-braind schemes! Either way I think they are cool and like having them around.

    I also got into looking into my blackberry patch for Ceratina bees. There is a picture of them at this link.
    http://www.cirrusimage.com/bees_small_carpenter.htm

    Looking in my blackberry patch, I found old blackberry twigs that died probably year before last. The ends where burrowed into, and dissecting them, I found overwintering Ceratina bees. I put some of these up as well and harvested some of the larger blackberry twigs to make bundles and try and make Ceratina nests out of them in spring.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default

    I love carpenter bees, and we have some here on our place, but I've not seen them pollinating anything besides a few species of flowers, and I haven't seen them in any of the vegetables that I can recall.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    Took the queens out of the fridge the other day.

    Dead, dead, and dead.

    What a start!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    How sad. Any idea what happened? Or perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    They were still alive in Jan or Feb, I figure it got too dry in there.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads