Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bumbling around

We're having some new fences. Not the most exciting subject for a post, I know. But wait! Attached to the fence post on the old fence that is due to be taken down is a bird box. No problem, I thought. It's vacant. Except it isn't. Some bumble bees have taken up residence there and built a nest. Les is coming to put the new fences in next week. What to do? I definitely didn't want to have to have the bees destroyed. Bees are facing enough problems at the moment. As well as the threat from climate change, they are being systematically attacked by a parasitic mite which kills them, with many hives having been wiped out. See this link -

Bumble bees are placid creatures and no threat or nuisance, apart from where they have decided to build their nest.
So I went online (good old t'tinternet) and found instructions on how to move a bees nest. Then I rang my dad. (good old dad) And between me and dad and a torch covered with a red noodle packet (bees can't see red light very well apparently!), we moved the bees last night to a new fence post just a few metres away. There was a slight hiccup when we realised we hadn't quite covered all the holes in the bird box and a few bees escaped, but we managed to move the nest without too much difficulty. Apparently, you have to keep the nest upright, because if you don't, then their honey pots spill. Sweet.
I went out to check on them this morning and they were coming and going from the bird box seemingly unaffected. There were a few bees hanging around the old fence post looking a bit confused, but I'm hoping the others will be able to lead them back to the new location.
So, all in all, a good result, I hope. I'll keep you posted on how my little colony get on.