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Bumble Bees in raised bed

1709 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  little_john
Wife found them yesterday cleaning out a raised bed. They are not at all happy their little home has been disturbed. Fortunately it was me that got stung not her...

Tiny bit of reading I just did implies they only live as a colony for about 8 weeks? Since it is unlikely we could successfully move them would a temporary 'house' get them to calm down? Thinking a spare box and lid, (no bottom) set over them and a bit of straw to make up for the missing top of their nest. Have several swarm traps that already have a round hole entrance.

If they calm down and all flights are directed to a single direction might be able to coexist with them. Make sure to clean the bed during the winter so it will be less attractive to them next year.

Any other ideas or suggestions appreciated.
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As a kid I used to get BB stings periodically. They can be somewhat defensive if you are near the nest so we kids would wage war on them. I have a nest somewhere nearby now but enjoy watching them pollinate and water in my backyard.

Sounds like your idea is worth a shot.

If you ever decide to encourage BBs coming, plant Bee Balm. Honey bees don't use it much, but I have seen several different species working it at the same time.
BB are notoriously difficult to move and manage due to their ultimately temporary nature. The colony you found will not overwinter. They really like burrowing, so the usual recommendation is an upturned flower pot with the hole covered and some hose that makes a tunnel from the inside to the outside.
Done. Upside down swarm trap resting on some scraps of landscape timber to keep it off the ground. Would not have been able to do this last year since I had no bee suit then. Needed it! Six or eight came out and would not quit trying to get me. Even followed for 50 plus feet. Will try to get pictures in a few days when they calm down.

Akademee: no large flower pot that is not in use, will keep that in mind for next time. Water proof so sounds like it would work great.
Wanted to update that they moved within days of disturbing them. Wife saw some activity the next day after putting the box over the nest. Then nothing... Pulled the box a few weeks ago and there was no sign of them ever being there.
For anyone who likes, but knows little about bumblebees (like me), there's a most excellent guide called "Befriending Bumble Bees: A Practical Guide to Raising Local Bumble Bees" by Marla Spivak and others.

There's a link to download the .pdf file at:

The aggressive nature of some species of bumblebee is mentioned in the guide. :)

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