Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    180

    Default I found a bumblebee queen, now what?- pictures attached

    Today I found a bumblebee queen. Can anyone identify the species? I put it in a wooden box with some pollen, artificial pollen supplement (made of brewers yeast, sugar, and soy flour), and a cotton ball dipped in sugar water. Right now I got the nest covered and the holes blocked so the bee does not get out. Will the queen be likely to accept this home and start building wax and lay a few eggs like this? Should I keep the bee inside here for a few days and wait to see if it starts building wax before opening the entrance? How long does it usually take to know when the queen bee has accepted this as a nesting site? See pictures:


    These show the bee closeup:





    These are pictures of the nest:

    You can see the pollen substitute on top, then below that is the pollen, and below that is the cotton ball dipped in sugar water. You can also see some dry grass-like stuff, I put that there hoping the bee will use it as an insulator, I thought I read somewhere that they need some sort of insulating material like dry grass. Should I put a few dry cotton balls in there instead?





  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Default

    Not sure on the species. Maybe Bombus perplexus? Hard to tell.

    Confining might work. I've had better luck putting out domiciles (the "hives") and having queens just move into them, but sometimes getting a queen to go broody and start a colony under forced conditions works out. Make sure she gets water, and I usually try to put the food and water out in the vestibule (the little entry area) rather than in what may become the brood chamber.

    I would give her about a week, then check her. At that point, if she hasn't started building cells and is still alive, open the entrance. She isn't likely to make a nest there -- either she had already started somewhere else before you found her, or it's just not to her liking.

    Cotton batting for upholstery works well for the insulating material for them to make their nest. More seems to encourage them more than less, but as they get more, their comb can become impossible to observe. Some "stuffing" from an old automobile seat or stuffed chair seems to work really well for that insulating material. I use some of that as lures for queens when I put out the domiciles in the spring. Some mouse urine in that cotton seems to help attract queens looking for nesting sites, as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Almonte,Ont,Canada
    Posts
    98

    Default

    How can you tell this is a queen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default now what?-

    One of the tricks of the trade. And, I will share it with you.
    Get about 8 - 10 young queenless honey bees and add them to your wild bee.
    Good Luck!
    BTW: I thought that I saw a bumble bee on my wisteria which is in full bloom. No, it was a solid black carpenter bee.
    I will put out my nest later today.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    If you aren't keeping it at the right temp., some kind of insulation will help. I believe you're supposed to make a ball of the pollen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BJ View Post
    How can you tell this is a queen?
    Bumble bee queens are the only ones that survive the winter. So as early spring approaches, any bumble bee you see is most likely to be a queen looking to start a new colony. She also looks bigger than other bumble bees. In early spring, you can often see bumble bee queens flying low hovering the ground searching for nesting spots.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I found a bombus Impatiens queen on Sunday and placed her in my bumble bee home with provisions hoping she'll make her nest there. My experience has been about 4 out of 10 will stay and rear brood. Some start by building honey "pots" and a few cells but never rear workers. Good luck with yours!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Ernie:

    Why does that work?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Why?

    Because the young bees will tend to the queen bumble bee just like a honey bee queen.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    so you take queenless honeybees and add them to a caged bumblee queen? Thats neat. I would think they would fight.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  11. #11

    Post

    Bumblebees start up as "solitary"; means the queen is the only one to start the hive. You will have more luck if you prepare the nest by getting a mouse nest from the pet shop and replace the pollen substitute with that. In the front chamber place two wax cups, one with water one with honey.
    Place a tube one square cm in the entry hole, so that the bumblebees have a chance to defend themselves against parasites. Close this tube with a wax prop. Place the hive in a shadow place under a bush or something like tat. Now wait 14 days. Remove the wax prop in the tube. Wait to next day. If noise is breaking out when you tap the hive, the queen has settled, and a bumblebee family is under construction.

    best regards Jorn Johanesson, Denmark
    Retired beekeeper, Free beekeeping software
    http://apimo.dk jornjohanesson@gmail.com

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