16 April 2015

Tree Bumblebee - Bombus Hypnorum

"Help, there are bees living in my roof!" That's a phrase I hear a lot from callers during May, June and July who believe they have a swarm of honeybees. More often than not it is a small nest of Tree Bumblebees. Please take a look at the following pictures and short video before searching for your local beekeeper.

The Tree Bumblebee is a relatively new species for Britain but is quickly expanding it's range. Most of the time they are not noticed by householders, until that is, the male bees (drones) start circling around the nest waiting for the ladies to appear! At this stage the householder spots the action and wonders what is going on. There is no need to worry, the bees will finish their lifecycle and will be gone in a few weeks. Enjoy watching them dance.

Tree Bumble Bees
Tree Bumble Bee - they have white tails
Photo Marion Malcher

Tree Bumble Bees have a small nest
Photo: Marion Malcher

The photos and the video below were taken when visiting a householder who was a little uncertain about having new bee neighbours! As you will hear on the video, it is not always easy to see what is happening, look carefully but don't take risks using ladders or by getting too close.

Sometimes the bees choose an old bird's nest and I was told some blue tits had nested in this spot the year before. In this case I'm happy to say that the Tree Bumbles were allowed to stay and did not cause any trouble to the householder.

More information about Tree Bumblebees and other Bumble Bees can be found at the
Bumble Bee Conservation Trust Website

Not Bumbles? see the British Beekeepers Swarm Help Page

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