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Photo courtesy Barry HicksPhoto courtesy Barry Hicks

 

Do you have a bumble bee nest?

Each summer the NLBKA gets a lot of calls about bee nests. In most cases, these turn out to be bumble bees NOT honey bees.   You can find information about bumble bees here - http://www.nlbeekeeping.ca/our-bees-nl/other-kinds-bees/

NLBKA's mandate includes the protection of Newfoundland and Labrador's native bee populations. We recognize how important it is to understand more about these bees and to keep their populations healthy. That's why we've identified the need for much more baseline research into these populations in our research priorities. We know very little about the distribution, abundance, and health of these bees.

 If the bumble bees are not in the way of family, friends, and pets please consider leaving them alone. We hear lots in the media these days about the plight of our native pollinators, and you can help them by not disturbing their nests.  If you are unsure about whether they are bumble bees or honey bees or some other insect, you can take a photo of them and send it along to our public Facebook page. Please tell us the location and date of the sighting. 

Here's some points to keep in mind about bumble bees.

1. They will only be coming and going for the summer months.

2. They are only interested in collecting nectar and pollen (and maybe bits of leaf for some species) for their nests.

3. The nests only have a few bees in them - 150-300, depending on the species.

4. All the bees except the queen will die off by first frost in the fall (old age and climate).  The queen will hibernate in a small cavity somewhere, e.g., stalks of plants or a hole in the ground.  She'll emerge again in the spring and start a new nest and colony.

5. They will only sting you if they feel threatened, e.g., if you step on one with your bare feet or stir up their nests. So, stay back a few feed if you find a nest and mark it off so kids and animals won't bother it.

6. In general, these nests cannot be moved without destroying the bumble bee colony.

Please note that beekeepers do not catch (rescue) bumble bee nests. They do, however, rescue honey bee swarms and feral colonies.  If you think you have a honey bee swarm or feral colony, please click here for more information - http://www.nlbeekeeping.ca/beekeepers-corner/swarm-capture/