Talkback: Bumblebees in the compost bin

Hi Richard, I've heard them called the French tree bumblebees, as they're partial to nesting in trees...


  • hi. av to tell u that we have a gathering of bees in last years blue tit box!!
  • Hi, We have some bees making a next in a wall cavity outside our kitchen window. They are entering a hole where the waste pipe is. They are fascinating to watch as 1,2 or maybe 3 bees will leave and then they will return one by one. One will wait whilst
    another is leaving. I have counted about 6-8 at any one time. They ignore us although a large bee, probably the Queen buzzed around me for a few seconds whilst i was photographing them yesterday. I dont think that they will do any harm being in the wall and i am very reluctant to do anything until they have finished nesting and have finally departed.
  • We have mason bees in various boxes in our yard. The problem is some are coverd in mites.How can we help them?
    Some are so infested they can hardly fly.
    Any advise appreciated.
    We do take the boxes in for the winter to keep them dry and block up any infested holes.
  • A few years ago I had about a dozen bees visit my cotoneaster, which was about 2mts high by 6 or 7 long, along my garden wall. Within a short time of their visit, somewhere around 1500 -2000 bees just came and lived on the bush for a couple of weeks! It was quite a sight to see them swarm off in groups, only to return en masse. I have since moved but am training a cotoneaster along both garden fences.
  • I seem to spend most of my time rescuing bees out of my greenhouse. I have had 5 different types in there today. Could watch them for hours...
  • we seem to have a lot of hornets in the garden this year very large
  • Hi Les B,

    I am not an expert but I know that mites on bees is a bad thing as your message suggests. Given that these are wild bees your talking about I am not sure you would be able to do anything to rid the bees of the mites, in managed hives there are various treatments and preventatives for mites which are growing in importance given the huge problems bees are suffering from at the moment, with Colony Collapse Disporder and the Varroa mite.
    My advice would be to contact you local beekeepers group or biodiversity officer/conservation organisation to see if they can offer some advice. Also perhaps cleaning and sterlising the bee boxes this winter would be a good idea but again I am not sure if thats the best someone in the know.

    Good Luck

  • bees around a pine tree...
    yes I appear to have a lot of big bees around my pine tree... after close inspection I have found what I beleave is some soft of infestaion of spyder mite on the tree...
    is it this that the bees are interested in?

    and how does one remove the pest without harming the bees?
  • Went out into my little urban garden in East London after reading this article and saw a single Bombus hypnorum with exactly the coloration you describe. The streets may not be paved with gold but we've got quite a few golden flowers for the traveling bee to enjoy.
  • I don't think mites on bumblebees are harmful. I think they are beneficial to the bees as they help keep the bumblebee nests clean.
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