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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    I just bought a bumblebee house off EBAY. I will probably make a few more myself, but not sure I'll get around to it this year.

    Was 36 bucks shipped so I can live with that

    It has two rooms, comes with nesting material, seems weathertight.


    Will

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Very nice will. Hope you get a good nest started this year. Pics please.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    I will most definitely post picts of it installed and hopefully when occupied.

    here is the house...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...33&mfe=sidebar

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Renthorin View Post
    I will most definitely post picts of it installed and hopefully when occupied.

    here is the house...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...33&mfe=sidebar
    I just purchased this one:

    http://www.knoxcellars.com/Merchant5...tegory_Code=SS

    It showed up within a few days of order and appeared to be very well made. Even came with a little booklet!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Sweetness! I may get one of those too

    Found this on Amazon...

    http://www.amazon.com/Esschert-Desig...=2JUVTO0FTQM27

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    "Befriending BumbleBees: A practical guide to raising local bumble bees" says you have to go out and catch a queen with a net, but that seems like a lot of work.

    I think the main technique is to simply hope one shows up and likes your box.

    You can buy them from commercial suppliers, but you'll be shelling out $200-$400.

    Buy that book here:
    https://shop-secure.extension.umn.ed...l.aspx?ID=1902

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,145

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Not that hard to catch a queen bumblebee.

    In early spring, any very large bumblebees you see flying around will be a mated queen, come out of her winter hibernation. If she is flying around looking in cracks and crevises, - perfect, she is looking for a nesting site.

    Even if she is working flowers and has pollen on her legs, she may still be caught but would have to be confined in your nest along with a food supply until she has started a nest.

    Much to know about how to do that, for example the food cannot be mature honey, not enough water. Honey can be used but must be well watered down. Too much to write about it here but it's available in books, and likely the net.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    My new bumble home from Amazon (link above) just arrived. Now I have a question.

    There are holes in the Queen chamber, covered with fine screen, presumably for ventilation. When I close the hinged roof, it doesn't fit well and this leaves a 1/4 gap between the roof and front wall, down the entire length of the front.

    I assume this is bad? My thought is if it were for ventilation it too would be screened. I can tack a small piece of wood there to close the gap.

    Just want some other opinions on if that gap should be there.

    Will

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Renthorin View Post
    My new bumble home from Amazon (link above) just arrived. Now I have a question.
    I ordered two of those same boxes from Amazon after seeing your post. Mine are supposed to arrive in the next 3 or 4 days. Interested in seeing if there is a gap in mine as well.
    Now I have to figure out what to use for nesting fluff....
    Suggestions?- (assuming I don't have any used mouse nests about)
    I thought of buying a package of spaghnum moss (spelling?) like they use for orchid baskets.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    There is a small instruction card in with the bee house that says (in 6 different languages)...

    Chose the location for the bumble bee house carefully. Place it on a brick. Do not place the bumble bee house in full sunlight. Ideally the box should warm up in the sun during the morning hours and be in the shade for the rest of the day. Give some bedding and pillow material in the inside, for example litter or wood fiber.

    A) I have no bricks. I'll just find a spot off the ground I guess
    b) litter? As in cat litter? Uh...no
    c) what is wood fiber? Sounds like a breakfast cereal.

    I plan to put some upholstery stuffing inside mine, maybe some dog hair from one of my Siberians.

    Will

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    I think they mean like saw dust type stuff. I will probaly try the fibers from a matteress too. you can also try that fluffy stuff from for mice that you can buy from the pet store. thanks for the pic, i think i'll try making something like that as well.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,145

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Cotton wool is good. Lots of it, fluffed up.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Anyone know if there is a Market for Bumble Bee pollination services in Wisconsin? How many strains are used?

    There must also be crops that honeybees will ignore and bumble bees will pollinate. I see many flowers that honeybees dont bother with and the bumbles work constantly.

    How about selling them? What do you get for a nest? How large do they get in numbers? When do they Start reproducing queens, all summer or is it only in fall?

    This sounds interesting. I see lots of the large queens buzzing around in early spring. I could easily net A bunch and start raising them. I will have to read up on this stuff.

    IF anyone can point me to good info about raising Bumble Bees, etc i would appreciate it.

    Thank You

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,145

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Googled and found this http://www.hornetnestsfreeremoval.com/29601.html
    however he sounds fairly small time there are large bumblebee breeders but i couldn't find them by Google.

    In my country bumblebees are raised commercially and sold to greenhouse tomato growers, by these guys
    http://www.zonda.net.nz/
    The queens are no longer wild caught they raise their own.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Thanks old timer. I found that as well. I also found this guide to raising bumble bees.

    Whoops, cant post that link I guess. If you copy and paste

    Raising Bumble Bees at Home:
    A Guide to Getting Started
    By James P. Strange PhD
    USDA-ARS, Pollinating Insect Research Unit
    Logan, UT

    into google you should find it.

    I guess if I do catch and raise some I could call some of the raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, and such growers and see if they are interested in renting or buying them.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    709

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    The bumblebee queens emerged from winter hibernation in central NC today. I saw several searching for potential nesting sites. Get those boxes ready!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    I haven't seen the Amazon box in person... But FWIW, the Knox house seems to be very well made, fits tightly, has an observation window (plexi) to watch the bumblebees without taking off the roof, and comes with bedding and a booklet.

    It seems like a complete package, and since they specialize in Mason bees I would assume they know what they are doing.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Walliebee View Post
    The bumblebee queens emerged from winter hibernation in central NC today. I saw several searching for potential nesting sites. Get those boxes ready!
    Wow...we still have 8 inches of snow on the ground

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Renthorin View Post
    My new bumble home from Amazon (link above) just arrived. Now I have a question.
    There are holes in the Queen chamber, covered with fine screen, presumably for ventilation. When I close the hinged roof, it doesn't fit well and this leaves a 1/4 gap between the roof and front wall, down the entire length of the front.
    I assume this is bad? My thought is if it were for ventilation it too would be screened. I can tack a small piece of wood there to close the gap.
    Just want some other opinions on if that gap should be there.
    Will
    Hi again....
    My two boxes arrived today. The same ones as the one you got:
    http://www.amazon.com/Esschert-Desig...8940780&sr=1-2
    Yes they have a small 3/16" gap along the front closing edge due to a defect in matching the roof angles when constructing. The gap is not meant to be there. Other than that they are charming and well made. The metal roof is nice.
    I suspect they all might be made the same way with a manufacturing gap, not just something like a crack where you could get a non-defective replacement easily. probably good to state this in a customer review on Amazon.

    I decided not to bother trying to return my two- the hassle of returning is sometimes not worth it if something can be easily made to work right. My husband offered to plane the surfaces to fit well, but we realized it would be much simpler to just cut a paint stirring stick to fit along the front edge of the box bottom to close up the gap. This would be easily glued along the top front edge of the box part (not the roof part), all along the front. For the 1' or so on the sides that need gap-reduction, I could just glue in a small piece of popsicle stick to cover any gap there. In fact, glueing popsicle sticks onto the top front box edges may be enough to close any gaps up fairly well anyway. I have pop-sticks anyway for glueing into my foundationless hive frames as starter strips. I think I will close the gap up myself this way, likely cutting and laying a paint stirrer stick lengthwise and gluing it to cover up the gap.

    Yes, it's annoying, but I don't want to spend my time on making exchanges and more shipping back and forth. It should work fine after glueing thin sticks in to close the gap.

    I thought of using some dryer lint for bedding, maybe mixing with dry moss for potting orchids...? My dryer lint has lots of cat hair in it, so that might be similar to mouse nest fur! I could gather up dryer lint for a while (without using any fabric softener).
    I was in a big pet store the other day, and could kick myself for not asking for a small baggie of well used mouse bedding there from their giant aquarium of mice -God knows I spent enough money there that day!

    Knowing the apparent rather low rate of success for most bumble bee nesting boxes, I am not getting my hopes up too much. Mason bees seem much easier to attract with nesting boxes. I'll be thrilled of I get any bumble action in one of these. You never know until you try, right?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bumble bee homes

    the distributor of the house on Amazon just wrote me:

    I checked out all our bee houses and there is 1/4 inch gap on all of them so I'd assume that this will not stop them from making their home in the box.

    I replied back that if they went to the trouble of putting fine screen over the vent holes to keep ants out......ummm......a 1/4" gap running the entire length of the house??? Really?

    I plan to use rope caulk

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