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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tree Bumblebee nest

Found in a bird box in Holywell Green at the home of Christine Eves, Scientific Society Treasurer, this Tree Bumblebee nest. They seem to like bird boxes as we have seen others this year in other gardens. This one had a solitary live bee in it.
Tree Bumble Bee Bombus hypnorum, which arrived from Europe and was first discovered in Wiltshire in 2001, is one of the commonest in Calderdale Gardens, having spread from the south.
You can see the typical bumble bee nectar cups they fill when they're working the
flowers. They don't thicken the nectar into honey by fanning it with their wings, as honey bees do.


1 comment:

Steve Blacksmith said...

The nectar cups are visible on the floor of the nest.
Bumble bees store the nectar they collect in these.
They don't create an airflow by fanning the nectar with their wings. Honey bees do this to evaporate some of the water off to thicken it into honey.
I have a snippet in an old book on country life somewhere - not marked unfortunately - that human workers in the fields would sometimes rob the bumble bee nests of their little cups and sip the nectar for a tiny sweet treat after their bread and cheese midday meal.