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The bumble bee invasion!

Does anybody have any ideas on how to prevent bumble bees from invading and taking over bird nesting boxes?
We had a blue tit nesting in one of the boxes, we have three, then the next thing I know the bees have taken over. This happened last year in one of the boxes and so far this year they have taken over two boxes. A "Bee man" told us last year that they would eventually go at the end of the season but did not mention coming back again. Does this mean the end of the blue tit families FOREVER ! :'(


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,856
    put up a new box for the tits and have both would be my solution
  • FireFire Posts: 18,951
    Put up five more boxes. :)
  • hchessomhchessom Posts: 27
    We live in the country not a town Bee or any other!
  • hchessomhchessom Posts: 27
    I have to say they seem v. friendly ,to people anyway.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,441
    The bees use the bird nest after the birds have fledged so no harm comes to the birds. At the end of the season you can clean out the box and the cycle can repeat again next year. Think of it as a two for one ecological enhancement.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,860
    Birds & bees … now there’s a novelty 😉 ❤️ 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • hchessomhchessom Posts: 27
    I never realised they took over after the birds, two for the price of, so to speak. The birds will have warmed the box up for them not bad ,this year especially.
    Thank you. :)
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 713
    I wish I had bumblebees in my bird box, I love them. Unfortunately  no such luck. And no birds either 😢
  • FireFire Posts: 18,951
    edited June 2021
    Bumblebees don't have the body dynamics to collect their own nesting materials so nest in ex bird or mouse nests. If you want to attract bumbles to nest, make a cosy hollowed nest made of wool fleece etc, make it waterproof, dark, warm and protected. I have done this with pallets, with fleece nests in between, covered in perspex and then tiles. Dave Goulson offers a vid on it here. If you can find an old mouse nest and resite it, all the better.

    I find I have two bumble nests they made this year under my shed (warm, protected, dark). I have made a load more in the pallet stack by my composting area, but it was after the main nest making season. Hopefully next year they will take advantage of it. I will say that you can't move for bumbles in the garden at the moment, it has definitely become their space and they are now wondering what this odd, tall, wingless interloper is doing in their space. And it's all to the good.

    It maybe tree bumblebees that like high up bird boxes.
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