Bumblebee Forced Resettlement

Bob's Bumblebee Base - Clay Flowerpot, Tile Roof, Tube Entrance
Bob’s Bumblebee Base – Clay Flowerpot, Tile Roof, Tube Subway Entrance

Common bumblebees had set up house in a stack of firewood produced by removing a diseased ash tree and a couple of storm-damaged crab-apples. The wood, next to the house in our back yard, had been covered by a tarp to protect it as it aged. When I removed the tarp this June I noticed the nest and disturbed it. It ended up as a small, rounded pile of fuzzy, fibrous plant material on the patio stones surrounded by a bunch of scattered fireplace logs. I spread out the pieces with an eight-foot 1 x 2 to isolate the nest, and watched the bees work hard to keep it intact. The bee population is plummeting in Ontario and around the world. It was worth trying to save this little community and set them up somewhere on our long-time pesticide free property.

Scattered wood and patio after moving the nest.
Scattered wood and patio after moving the nest.

It had to be moved to a safer place far from the house and our small woodpile. I got my honey’s permission to move it, if possible, to the back border garden. Anita is allergic to stings, but these little guys seem relatively calm-tempered. Time to learn about bees. The British Bumblebee Conservation Trust website was very helpful. It showed how to build a shelter to encourage new bumblebees to inhabit your garden, and how to move a nest safely to another location. My solution, hopefully, was to combine and adapt these ideas to our situation… Continue reading “Bumblebee Forced Resettlement”