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Bumblebee behaviour

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Michael Gilligan22/05/2020 09:50:16
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15666 forum posts
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This may be of general interest: **LINK**

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/05/bumblebees-bite-plants-flower-early/

... and, hopefully, Clive will be able to add some expert opinion

MichaelG.

Cornish Jack22/05/2020 10:09:41
1118 forum posts
159 photos

A fascinating insight into another of Nature's essential creatures doomed by human greed. However much scientific expertise informs us of the necessity of such species in the planet's survival, the 'want more' element will continue to pollute in their personal profit taking.

Sitting on the swing seat, in the sunshine yesterday and a little, friendly 'bumble' flew over and settled for a while on my knee - a momentary mental oasis in the daily doom recital.

rgds

Bill

Thor22/05/2020 11:28:48
1228 forum posts
37 photos

Thanks Michael for an interesting link.

Thor

Dave Halford22/05/2020 13:46:40
742 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Cornish Jack on 22/05/2020 10:09:41:

Sitting on the swing seat, in the sunshine yesterday and a little, friendly 'bumble' flew over and settled for a while on my knee - a momentary mental oasis in the daily doom recital.

that reminds me of this from 71

And when the roses are half-bud soft flowers
And lovely as the king of flies has come
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief
In three short minutes, he had been and gone

He rested there upon an apple leaf
A gorgeous opal crown sat on his head
Although the garden is a lovely place
Was it worthy of so fine a guest

Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh

Dragonfly, dragonfly

Songwriters: Daniel Kirwan, William Davies

Ady122/05/2020 13:54:49
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3680 forum posts
514 photos

One of my neighbours now has a plastic front garden

plastic lawn, plastic flowers

They must hate me, I like the chaos of nature and my lawn is wonky

The sparrows were feeding their fledglings on it when I got back from the dogwalk today

Edited By Ady1 on 22/05/2020 14:01:02

OldMetaller22/05/2020 14:42:17
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170 forum posts
19 photos

A very interesting link, thank you Michael. I'm moving house soon, and hope to eventually have some bees of my own...along with a couple of Alpacas, but that's another story!

wink

John.

ega22/05/2020 14:59:41
1694 forum posts
145 photos
Posted by Cornish Jack on 22/05/2020 10:09:41:

A fascinating insight into another of Nature's essential creatures doomed by human greed. However much scientific expertise informs us of the necessity of such species in the planet's survival, the 'want more' element will continue to pollute in their personal profit taking.

Sitting on the swing seat, in the sunshine yesterday and a little, friendly 'bumble' flew over and settled for a while on my knee - a momentary mental oasis in the daily doom recital.

rgds

Bill

Ironic that the bee was welcome to you whereas some folk are very excited by them!

Clive Hartland22/05/2020 15:30:45
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2560 forum posts
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Many times I have been called out to Bumbebee nests asked to get rid. One of the most interesting last year was a nest that was using the mouth aperture of a disused fountain display. One of those cement faces that can be attached to a wall. Took me a while to convince the house owner to leave well alone till autumn.

Re the flower biting and attempt to control or make the plant respond. One thing which is quite common on Bean flwers is that they bite a hole at the base of the flower because their proboscis is too short to reach the nectar in the normal way, ie. down the spout of the flower.

This report is the first time I have heard of Bumbles trying to promote the plant to flower. One idea is that due to cold weather plant flowers do not make nectar until 72 hrs. at a constant 68 F. So they may be starving and use this method to speed things up. Bumbles will work at very low temps and I have seen them working a small white shrub flower on Xmas day.

duncan webster22/05/2020 15:39:02
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2584 forum posts
33 photos

Couple of years ago we had bees take over a nest box in the garden. Wife's sister was adamant I should get rid, I was equally adamant to leave them alone. As long as you don't give them any aggro you don't get stung, even tho' I had to pass them several times a week whilst mowing the grass. The only time I've ever been stung by a bee was on scout camp when they had taken up residence in my uniform shirt, they didn't like it when I put it on. Moral is give your shirt a good shaking.

Brian Sweeting22/05/2020 15:39:22
419 forum posts
1 photos

It's so easy to help the bees as I found out over the past few weeks.

Two birthdays ago my daughter bought me a bee house which contained 24 holes for the bees to lay eggs which I hung up on a shed wall. It's only about a 150mm/6" cube so doesn't take up much. room

By the end of the year about 3/4 had been filled and sealed by the bees.

This April they kept me busy watching their comings and goings. Even before they had all hatched they were busy relaying eggs.

This year I reckon that about 108 bees hatched and with 23 holes refilled that's about 130 ready for next year.

I'm actually trying for more now as I found a nice bit of log and drilled some 10mm holes in it and mounted it alongside the original.

Simple things but it gives you a warm feeling knowing that you've grown something.

mark costello 122/05/2020 17:24:04
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589 forum posts
12 photos

I groan something all the time, Where's Me coat............

JA22/05/2020 17:41:54
907 forum posts
50 photos

Brian

How deep should the holes be?

JA

clogs22/05/2020 18:46:16
526 forum posts
12 photos

Like Clive lost count of how many times I was asked to DESTROY a bumble bee nest.......

I was a reg Beekeeper with (25 hives) and emergency reponse call out for the local council and the police for swarms....

I always tried to talk them out of killing the nest.....

Usually quite soon the council would turn up and kill the nest anyway because of moronic humans......

Actually...

I was almost ready to take my Master Bee Keeper Cert but suddenly became super sensitive to the venom....

Had to quit, broke my heart......

Michael Gilligan22/05/2020 19:13:34
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15666 forum posts
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Posted by Clive Hartland on 22/05/2020 15:30:45:

[…]

This report is the first time I have heard of Bumbles trying to promote the plant to flower. […]

.

Thanks, Clive ... Although it is an interesting concept, I do wonder if the researchers are witnessing behaviour and effect, then ascribing a little too much ‘deliberate action’ to the process.

MichaelG.

Brian Sweeting22/05/2020 19:35:35
419 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by JA on 22/05/2020 17:41:54:

Brian

How deep should the holes be?

JA

Mine are about 100mm, makes room for up to six bees.

Frances IoM22/05/2020 20:21:26
761 forum posts
26 photos
I briefly kept a single hive but found my commuting between UK + IoM was somewhat restricted as though generally low maintenance it needed to be watched at certain times.

However another friend had kept bees for some years then she also suddenly developed intolerance to any sting and had on medical reasons to give it up - how common is this
Clive Hartland22/05/2020 22:34:58
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2560 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Frances, sting allergy seems to be on the increase. One instance near me was the Grand Daughter of the Bee shop owner, she was stung by a Honey bee in the window of the shop and then went int anaphylactic shock due to the sting. Sadly she can no longer work in the shop even though she is a director of said Company.She is 22 years old .

It seems all sorts of allergies have become prevelent now from peanuts to herbs.

ChrisH23/05/2020 00:07:49
857 forum posts
29 photos

I have bees nesting in the roof of my shed, or it could be in the wall and accessed from the roof. My shed walls are old, about 2 foot wide, consisting of stone chunks held by mud, with render on the inside and mortar on the outside. The pitched roof is wooden boards with roofing felt over and tiles (Roman profile?) over. The bees are entering and exiting via a gap in the wooden roofingboards - after that where they go only they know at the moment.

They were there last year, I thought they might disappear over winter, but they are still there. I don't want them there fearful of the damage they might be doing to the roof wooden structure or indeed the wall, but I don't want to kill them really - we need all the pollinators we can get, but I do want them gone.

Any thoughts anyone on how I could persuade them to move along to another home somewhere else, maybe into the wood behind us?

Chris

Neil Wyatt23/05/2020 01:10:47
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17870 forum posts
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Not quite the same, but I found a dead hornet in my workshop. Massive thing, sting about 3mm long.

Neil

clogs23/05/2020 07:20:05
526 forum posts
12 photos

Neil,

when living in SW France had a Asiatic hornets nest in a tall tree.......

big hanging thing, also a thing of wonder......about a meter long and almost as big around.....

the local council refused to touch it because it was so big......

Had to kill em myself, which involed over 12m of 3/4 copper pipe, 1/2 lit petrol and an air compressor.......

AND for the interested few.....no I didnt BURN them out.......

Petrol fumes will kill them almost instantley......

when keeping honey bee's in the UK, worked with someone from the Ministry of Agri......

when bee's had a notifiable disease the bees were trapped inside and killed with a cup of petrol.....

then the hive was moved and burnt (in a safe place)...

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