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Bumble Bees

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Wendy H, May 30, 2009.

  1. Wendy H

    Wendy H Just me

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    Anyone know anything about bumble bees? I had two HUGE bumbles show up in my growroom within a few days of each other. No idea how they got in there as the basement window that is cracked during the winter is now closed and the other one has a window covering and a fan going 24/7 that a bee would have to get through without being hacked to bits. Is it possible that they overwintered in the pots that were outside last fall and woke up in the spring? That seems strange though as they would have been warm all winter in the room. Freaked me out though as I am TERRIFIED of bees in general. (I almost ran screaming like a little girl!) The first one met and early death but hubby rescued the second before I got hostile. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    Queen bumble bees emerge from hibernation in late winter. It's important for their survival to find a readily available source of food. Many don't, and die from starvation. The ones that do survive construct a nest in the ground or a few inches above ground in a generally rotten tree stump. Nest siting depends on the species. The queen soon begins to lay eggs which hatch and become the colony. As soon as there are sufficient foragers, the queen stays home and just lays eggs. In mid- to late summer the social structure of the colony breaks down. Males and additional queens are produced by the workers. The old queen dies along with the current season's workers. The new queens emerge, forage, and go into hibernation with the approach of cooler weather.

    I'd rather eat dirt than kill a bumble bee. They're extremely efficient pollinators and work when Italian honey bees are still shivering in the hive.
     
  3. Wendy H

    Wendy H Just me

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    Thanks Dale. So it is possible that they were hibernating in the orchid pots. I do regret killing the first one...that's why I called (or shrieked if truth be known) to Steve to remove the second one. The first one was offed in the midst of a panic attack...'me or the bee' mind set. Bumbles and honey bees are okay outside but in that enclosed space....*shudder*...I acted on instinct.

    Better send me some dirt to munch on. :(
     
  4. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    I've been stung very few times by these bees and when I did there was virtually no pain associated with the sting. They are not very aggressive so the likelihood of being stung is small.

    Thanks Dale for the details about their lifecycle. I did not know that.
     
  5. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "Better send me some dirt to munch on."

    Sorry. Canadian bee, Canadian dirt. That's the rules.
     
  6. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    I understand your panic, Wendy. You weren't expecting to find a bee in your basement!
     
  7. abaxter

    abaxter New Member

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    The only time I've seen aggressive bumble bees is in the fall here after they ground nest.
    Our nursery workers get stung a LOT while digging trees in the fall. Disturb a nest in
    progress and get your ass kicked. The sting isn't all that bad, Wendy, and we'd have
    damn few really beautiful blooms in the nursery without them.
     
  8. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    I have a hard time keeping the dh from killing those big ole bumblers that drill holes in his house in the spring. When I'm around he's okay but when I'm not around, I know he gets out that damned tennis racket.
     
  9. Wendy H

    Wendy H Just me

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    Okay, after quite a few bumbles in the basement we finally realized that they have built a nest in the wall. They come in through a small gap where the central air line comes through the foundation. I don't want to kill them but what else can we do? Steve and I were down in the basement trying to move the insulation from around the hole...every time he picked the insulation up (with a LONG broom handle) we could hear the 'bumble hum'. It was frickin scary I tell you! One of my clients works for a pest control company. I'm going to call him and see if the nest can be sealed from the inside so they can't get in the basement. Then maybe we can leave them alone until fall. The only other problem...and it is a biggie for me...is that they are right where I need to hook the hose to the rain barrel. They scare the bloody beegeesus out of me!!!! :eek:
     
  10. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

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    Use some great stuff foam and seal the hole into the basement.
     
  11. Karen

    Karen Species nut

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    You could try t o find a bee keeper! A good one might be able to move the whole nest. Worth a look in the phone book.
     
  12. abaxter

    abaxter New Member

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    I like Clark's idea. Great Stuff will seal them out of your basement and you don't have to
    pay a pest control co. Now, if that would only work on carpenter bees that seem determined to bring down our carport! A tennis racket...that's the ticket.
     
  13. Karen

    Karen Species nut

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  14. Wendy H

    Wendy H Just me

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    Thanks. Good reading but these aren't honey bees. They're big old furry bumble bees.