My goats and I got a rather nasty surprise yesterday. We accidentally found an underground bumblebee nest in the goat pasture. It happened pretty quickly. One moment I was working on clicker training the crew and it was going GREAT, and the next we have bumblebees attached to all of us! My poor doeling Suzie had them all over her face! She was screaming bloody murder and I grabbed her and brushed them off with my hands. To get us out of the area, FAST, I just threw the gate wide open and told them it was grain time. So they took off for the barn at full tilt. Yay for Pavlovian reactions?
THANKFULLY other than being sore, none of the goats had any serious reactions or swelling. I am just glad none of the goats took any stings to the eyes.
The plus side of keeping honeybees meant that I could then suit up and dig up the offending nest (built under a tussock of grass). I really did feel bad about that, since bumblebees are such important pollinators. But it was literally in the middle of my 70 x 70 foot goat pasture. I had no idea how it hadn't been found or been a problem before. For the next time, if there is a next time, is there a way for me to keep the colony? Basically relocate it? I know they are used as pollinators for some crops in greenhouses especially. I'd rather preserve them than have to kill them.
Here are the pictures:
Queen, she was massive compared to all the others
Neat looking cells