Luckily there seem to have been enough sunny days for bees to be out and about foraging.
The number one question I get asked has to be, ‘I’ve got bumblebees nesting in my garden, what should I do?’
Whether the nest is in a bird box, compost bin or simply a pile of grass cuttings, I always give the same answer – if you can, do nothing.
Bumblebees are not at all aggressive, they do not swarm and rarely sting.
Unfortunately changes in agricultural practices along with urban expansion have not been kind to our bees, and many species are now very vulnerable.
This makes it so important for people to help bees when ever they can and I would always recommend that bumblebee nests are left undisturbed.
Bumblebees have an annual life cycle with new nests being started each spring by queens.
Colonies only last one summer and queens do not come back to the same location to nest each year.
In this country most nests will have died out by September, and often much earlier. This means bumblebee nests are only a temporary issue that should not cause too many problems in gardens.
I’ve already seen male early bumblebees flying around. They are easy to identify with their dark orange-red tails and bright yellow face. We’ve also had a male tree bumblebee mating with a new queen.
The presence of males indicates that a colony’s life cycle is nearly over and pretty soon the nests of these bees will be empty.
By letting them finish their life cycle, you can help to ensure there are enough new queens to keep the population going the next year.