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Thread: My bumble bees

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    101

    Default My bumble bees

    Hello! I'm fairly new here and i currently don't have any honey bees. Though i do keep bumble bees. I build nest boxes for them, make nest sites, and captive rear colonies. I keep my bumble bee colonies in nest boxes with special door flaps. These door flaps keep out parasites such as wax moths. I've had tons of success this year! I would love to share my bumble bee knowledge and answer any questions you may have about them. Here are some of my colonies from this year.

    My Bombus bimaculatus colony. This colony was very successful and produced 50 new queens! The average is just around a dozen! Well here is some footage of that nest.

    The foundress queen returning to the nest from one of her last foraging trips before the workers took over foraging:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/robomant.../4/9oHAS7gWXjc

    Here is a new virgin queen leaving the nest for the first time (note how she does an orienting flight):
    http://www.youtube.com/user/robomant.../1/80qZ7v8Laa0

    Here is a new queen returning to the nest for the first time. She has a little trouble with the door, but she does make it in:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/robomant.../0/W4wR7qRDeCA

    Another nest in a viewable nestbox. This video has a worker putting pollen in a storage pot:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/robomant.../3/KpWBCf21S3c

    Here is a different nest. This species is Bombus impatiens. I have them in a viewable nestbox. This video was taken early June. This nest has 150 workers currently and has gone into producing males and new queens. I will make more updates of them soon:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/robomant.../2/8cqyOnxQMHk

    I hope you enjoy and please comment!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    Very nice! How did you get started keeping bumble bees, did you just create the nestbox and a bee found it or?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    Awsome ...The door hatch is wonderfull ..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    I got started keeping them because I love social insects and I thought bumbles would be a good next step. I plan on keeping honey bees soon. So the bumbles really helped me prepare and such. As far as getting the nests... Its really kind of complicated. To sum it up though I basically provided a nestbox with nest materials and put a queen in there and got her to stay. There is a lot more to it, but I don't want to type like a whole page on it haha! If you want to know more you can message me or something.

    Yeah the door hatch works great i have this hive and its free of parasites!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    moffat CTY. COLORADO,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    nice work plan to see all of your links. I can keep my eyes open on our property. thx.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    Wow! Too kewl!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Westlake, OH, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    I've always liked those big bumble bees. I would love to have hives for them. I never thought of that! When my daughter's were young we discovered the ones in our area prefer purple flowers and while they were busy collecting pollen and nectar we would pet them. It wasn't until later we learned to recognize the smaller males with no stingers. In addition to these bees, I'm fond of the European Paper Wasp. These look very similar to their more aggressive cousins the yellow jacket but very distinct once you know what to look for. The European Paper Wasp make those half moon, open comb hives you see hanging from beams or attached to a wall. I've had a nest at head heights by my back door for the last three years. Never been stung despite getting my face about 18" away. When I get much closer, they begin to posture differently and I've never had the nerve to press my luck. Very interesting to watch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    I haven't tried any gut immunity boosters. I'm curious as to what you mean, what are some examples of gut immunity boosters? Some bumble bee websites that are good are:

    http://www.bumblebee.org/
    http://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/

    The best way to find bumble bee information is to google stuff like bombus nests, bumble bee nest sites, bumble bee conservation and the list goes on...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: My bumble bees

    Yes, the male bumble bees are fun, its funny how they raise their middle legs sometimes as a threat pose. Most people think its a bumble bee high five haha! I have a friend who rears paper wasps. They are a lot different from the usual wasps people run into. I have relocated a few of those nests from mail boxes (they seem to have a knack for plastic things and overhangs). I'm more biased to our native species Polistes fuscatus. My friend has even hand tamed them.

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