|Two bumble bees ready for flight.|
|This is a large new queen that will be
hibernating over the winter.
|One guard, checks out the photographer. The splatter pattern
on the outside of the box is the feces of the bumble bee.
|To make the box more to their liking, the bees even
plugged up the large crack at the front of the box.
This is one of my favorite flowers! Dandelions are a welcome color in the spring and they are a great source of both nectar and pollen for bees and other insects.
|This honey bee (left hand side) and mason bee are too busy feeding on a dandelion flower to notice
the photographer Dave M. Port Alberni, BC.
Kathy- Langley, BC sent me these photos of a bumble bees nesting in a bird house last spring.
This is not an uncommon occurrance. Bumble bees will nest in the ground, in a wall, in a bird house or other structure that will keep the weather out. Bumble bees nest within insulation, grass or other similar materials.
Birds bring nesting materials like moss and grasses into their bird house and leave after their young have hatched.
“When you see them up close they have an incredible amount of pollen on their back legs. The opening into the bird house is 1 1/4″ so you can see how huge they are.”
Underneath the moss is a bumble bee colony. One bumble bee guard is walking on the surface of the colony.
|This is a guard- watching out for predators.|
|Bumble bee on the left is cooling the colony with its wings. The bumble bee on the right seems to be ready to go and gather more pollen and nectar for the young bees.|
|Coming in for landing.|
|Resting after a long flight.|
|Making room for a larger colony by removing excess moss material.|
Before we used corn nesting trays inside yurts, we used wooden nesting trays in wooden structures (picture below). Here, we are dealing with thousands of cocoons. How to release them is a good question.
With alfalfa leaf cutter bees, cocoons are set out in open trays (see previous blog), bees emerge and then fly to nearby nests. I have tried this method, but gusts of winds or something upsets the trays and all cocoons end up on the ground.
The system I normally use for setting out cocoons is to place them into small wooden shelters as seen in this photograph. On the upper shelf in this picture there are 3 shelters on the left hand side and 3 shelters on the right hand side. Each shelter contains between 100- 250 cocoons. The little door on the front of each shelter has a hole from which mason bees emerge. I find this shelter system the most secure way of releasing cocoons, no matter how many cocoons I have.