Author Topic: Tree Bumblebees  (Read 954 times)

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Offline Barbarian

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Tree Bumblebees
« on: May 26, 2017, 01:09:11 am »
The Tree Bumblebee is an invasive species into this country. It prefers to make nests high up ... such as eaves, fascias, soffits and bird boxes. Left alone it is no trouble but if the nest is disturbed it can become more aggressive than other bumbles. It's presence is not usually noticed except at mating time. You get a small cloud of drones flying (dancing) at the nest entrance waiting for a virgin queen to emerge. It is this small cloud of bees that is noticed by the public. " I don't want to kill the bees"

In the last couple of days, I have had more than a dozen calls asking for help/advice when a mating group is seen. First of all, I have to go through identification. Where is it ?  Look on the ground under the cluster for bees that have died. Hairy, tawny thorax, black abdomen and a white/off white tail segment. They won't damage your house. Explain about the mating cluster. The nest will disappear in a few weeks. Do not disturb. Any bees in the house are lost  .... use the cup and card to capture and then release outside. For freaked out adults or young children you can put insect screen on the inside of an open window.

You can imagine that when you are hoping for a honeybee swarm call ... and then you try to create goodwill by explaining about Tree Bumbles.

" Another Owd Codger "

Offline Les

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Re: Tree Bumblebees
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 08:05:22 pm »
Maybe the Varroa Mite might jump ship from the honeybee and latch onto them.  One can hope!

Offline apisbees

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Re: Tree Bumblebees
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 04:50:06 pm »
There have been some research into varoa moving onto other hosts but they lack the one crucial aspect. They the Bumble bees wasps hornets are semi solitary bees and do not maintain a winter cluster.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Les

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Re: Tree Bumblebees
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 09:44:49 pm »
Good point!

Offline Barbarian

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Re: Tree Bumblebees
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 02:08:53 am »
Slightly off the topic.

There is a slight concern in the UK about importing bumble bees which may bring disease to the honeybees. There is an established trade of importing bumble nests from southern europe. These are raised commercially and brought in to use in poly tunnels for pollination of food crops. I fear that at the end of use the nests may be thrown out onto an open compost heap.

There has been some examination of fresh imported bumble nests. Some bee disease was found.
" Another Owd Codger "

Offline apisbees

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Re: Tree Bumblebees
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 11:10:33 am »
In Canada there are 2 imported species of Europium honey bees that are used in green house pollination. They are under strict terms of use under the importation license to not allow them to escape into the wild. The escape of the occasional worker would not be of much consequence but if early August queens were allowed to escape, them they could become established. as long as the nest is destroyed before the next years queens are raised they should cause no problem to native colonies.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.