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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Escanaba, Michigan
    Posts
    55

    Default Bumblebee Colony

    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


    Uncovered


    Neat looking cells

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    I keep all sorts of bumbles. You can put them in any wooden box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    Very cool.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    wow, I've never seen that before. And I didn't know you could clicker train goats! Very neat-o!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Pineville ,Louisiana ,USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    I want some bumble bee hives now. I really think i "need" them now. Wow. They are better at pollinating my 25 bush blue berries.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    Are bumble bees very hazardous to keep in your yard? I got a couple stings in hayfield once, but Im sure their nest was destroyed so they had a lot o reason to be worked up. I like to watch them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    Tons of bumblebees around my parts, have never seen an aggressive one, of course, I expect I have never stepped on ones nest. Here they seem docile and working, like a honeybee on steroids, often see them working right next to one another. Great pictires and very interesting story.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    They hurt like heck when they hit, would rather a dozen bee stings than one good bumblebee. And it is like they dive tail first, they bounce off the window of a truck with a thunk. But I have never had swelling from them. I have sure made more than one colony mad when mowing. Shift into high gear, lift the mow, and haul it out of there.

    Been looking for some to start a small colony for some of my plants.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    This is a great book to learn how to keep bumble bees.
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...re/DG8484.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    I hope that clicker was silent when the bees got busy!

    You can click train sheep too!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Yuba City, CA, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    Sorry to hear you and the goats got attacked. Hard to imagine those buzzy bunnies attacking, but I guess if you're on their home it's fair game.

    Are you clicker training the goats as pack goats? I've always wanted to do that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    angola,ny
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    Do bumblebees make honey?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cairo, Egypt
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bumblebee Colony

    very cool!!

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