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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default What to do with bumble bee houses

    My daughter is doing research in upstate NY on pollination with various pollinators. As part of the work, she purchased and placed 40 bumble bee houses in the fields. Now, she needs to remove
    those and dispose of them but isn't quite sure what to do with them. How many bees would be in them this time of year? Any suggestions on what to do with them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    It depends on which species was living in the house. Once the colony produces its queens/drones the workers are really of no use so it wont be long before the colony is empty, but as to what time of year that happens depends on what kind of bumble it was. I usually wait until early winter to dig mine up and clean them out because by then any species of bumble bee (around here) will have produced its queens and those queens in turn will have mated and will be hibernating elsewhere. What Im trying to say is if she knows the life cycle of her specific bumbles, she should be able to remove the boxes after the queens and drones have left. If mice inhabited her houses, and she plans on not using them again, I personally would burn them (because of hanta virus, dunno if its a problem in upstate NY). I wear a respirator when i empty mine but I re-use them until they rot out. As to what to do with the old houses other than dispose of them, I really don't have a clue. Someone else might have a better suggestion on that issue than I can give. Hope this helped a little

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    Thanks. I sent this info on to my daughter. She MIGHT know what particular bee they are, since she ordered them. I don't know if hanta is a concern, but my guess is she has good access to that info through Cornell U.
    Thanks again.

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

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    Glad i found this haha! I keep bumbles. The species commercially sold in USA is Bombus impatiens. Its very common. At this time of the year they should be almost done. Queens are leaving and hibernating. To dispose of the nests ONCE the bees are gone. You should burn the nestbox and wax to prevent disease. The bumble bees will naturally leave and do their thing. Just burn all the gear after. What study was she doing on them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    Thanks, Robo. I'll pass this along as well. Actually, I live in Iowa but we are currently on our way to upstate NY to see our daughter. Perhaps I'll get to go out and see some of her hives. She is doing research on pollination of pumpkins, comparing yields from plants by bumble bees, honey bees and non-supplemented (natural, from native bees). Hopefully she will find the hives pretty empty, since she only has a certain time slot to utilize her help crew. Looks like burning would be a good way to go.
    thanks again,
    Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    You should for sure take pictures! I would love to see!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 10-16-2011 at 06:42 PM. Reason: UNQ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: What to do with bumble bee houses

    I'll try to do that. I do know she used 3 wood pallets, building a kind of A-frame shelter for the hives and she has to dispose of all those as well. If she hasn't collected them by the time we get there mid-week I'll see if I can't get out and will take some photos.

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