If you can locate and capture the nest with the queen and most of the workers. Put them in a mini box/hive and then set them out in a garden or greenhouse for pollination. There are commercial producers of these bumblebee hives for sale to commercial greenhouses. They get a couple hundred bucks for one of those little hives. I have built a simple wooden box with a glass top for viewing, like a mini observation hive. Drill a hole for the bees to go in and out of. Makes for an interesting little project although they die out in the fall.
It was my understanding that they only live one season. In the Fall, many new queens are reared, mate, and hibernate as solitary queens until starting a new nest in the Spring. Then the build up is slow, and peaks in size in late Summer. Maybe I'm mistaken.
I've gotten a couple calls from folks stating the have a "bee swarm" in their yard.
After asking a couple question it turned out that they were bumbles that had moved into old birdhouses. I just tell them to leave them alone and enjoy the fact they have nice fat bumblebees in their yard.
Quite a few folks don't know a bumble from a honeybee. They just think a bee is a bee.
Bumble bees are big business here in Eastern Washington. I have a friend who is part of the development of better alphalfa for this area. They use bumble bees for pollination. Pretty cool to see several hundered of those things buzzing around a green house.
When disturbed they do fly around in what could be called a small swarm. People think yellow jackets, Bumble bees and just about anything else that flies is a bee. Unless the Bumble bees are in a location to be a potential stinging hazard then the best thing is to leave them where they are. Explain they are very beneficial and that they will die-out by the September timeframe. Only the newly hatched queen daughters will overwinter to start new colonies in the spring, just like wasps.
I have heard of People that do collect Bumble honey so I assumed it was edible?
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