Autumn Inspection of my Bumble Bee Nest

Unfortunately for me no bumble bees came this year to nest in my homebuilt 5 star bee hotel. The glue that I used for the roof to glue the two pieces of wood together did not withstand the weather, so I turned to plastic cable binders (again) to keep the roof in place. It must have resulted in water coming into the nest. Maybe that kept the bees away. The choice of wood thickness was overkill, but that was what I had laying around in the garage. Thinner wood can be used with no problems:

Moss from the lawn seems to keep well inside the nest. And it’s easy to find around here as I do not take good care of my lawn. In fact, I would convert it all to beds if it wasn’t for the kids using it as playground. Maybe I can convince my daughter to grow her own radishes in a couple of years 😉 :

The cardboard in the bottom looks like something took small bites of it, and it is definitely deteriorating. I think this results in poor conditions for the bees, but I don’t know what to put in instead. The idea was to replace the cardboard each year in order to reuse the nest. Maybe if the wooden roof had been weather proof it would be in better condition:

I’m not going to give up on the design just yet, as I would like to see if a big, yellow flower head painted onto the box around the entry hole would attract some bumble bees.

Thomas Winther from RenewablesAtHome.com has described a more advanced type of bumble bee nest, if you want to check out other types of bumble bee nests.

3 comments on “Autumn Inspection of my Bumble Bee Nest

  1. -

    Hey, thanks for the mention 🙂

    Damp or wet conditions will definitely deter bumblebees – they need things to be dry. Apart from keeping the roof waterproof, I’d replace the cardboard with a layer of gravel if I were you. That should help keep the moss drier, anyway.

    The cardboard would make it easier to reuse the nest, but the thing is that reusing a bumblebee nest would be risky anyway. A lot of bumblebees carry parasites and other unpleasant things. Once a bumblebee colony has used a nest, these parasites will exist in the nest, multiply and infect the next bumblebee colony to move in. If the parasites multiply enough, it’ll kill the colony. So if you’re going to reuse the nest, you should really scrub it out with soap and water first, to purge any unwanted freeloaders 😀

  2. -

    Argh. I meant “keeping the roof waterproof”, of course.

  3. -

    @Thomas Winther: Thanks for the tips!
    (I have updated your comment).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *