What Is Going on in the Bumblebees Nest?

A few days ago some of the bumblebees in my garden began acting weird. I was playing with my daughter outside in the garden when I spotted this fellow trying to walk across the lawn instead of flying:

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That seemed odd to me so I jumped over the fence into the kitchen garden to check out the bumblebees nest which they so kindly built in the middle of the plot. Unfortunately I was on to something because I found three other bees walking or sitting on the ground about a meter (3 ft) from the nest:

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I then checked the activity in the nest and found at least two bumblebees flying in and out of the nest like nothing happened:

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It seems that the bees are still active living their life, but some of them are having a hard time at the moment. A few days later I found two of the three bees dead outside the nest. R.I.P. 🙁

I hope this a natural cycle for them and not caused by human ignorance. If you know what’s going on please leave a comment below.

2 comments on “What Is Going on in the Bumblebees Nest?

  1. -

    Those bumble bees may have Nosema which is sort of like diarrea for us. I’m not sure if you can treat bumble bees for it but you can treat honey bees for it using Fumagilin-B. Typically with honey bees you see yellow/brown dots, spots on the outside of the hive kind of dripping like and the bees may writhe around, walk/crawl instead of fly, they may try to fly out of the hive entrance but then dive down to the ground.

  2. -

    @Darlene: That could be the cause, thanks for the info. Since the nest was hidden behind large leaves I wouldn’t have noticed any dots or spots outside the nest, but next year I’ll try building a nest out of wood (again) and then it will be easier to see what’s going on. Hopefully the new ones will be in good health throughout the season, fingers crossed 😉

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