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Author Topic: Saw a bumble bee yesterday....  (Read 4103 times)
stannn
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« on: April 07, 2018, 04:36:49 PM »

....a huge one zigzagging its way over the lawn at an altitude of 2 feet.....the first one this year for me.
Then this morning I found one trapped in the greenhouse, resting, so I persuaded it to leave via the door with lots of careful arm-flapping. It chose to rise to an altitude of 20 feet flying away and I could see it for about 50 yards before running out of pixels.
Stan
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biff
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 06:59:37 PM »

Not much bee life here as yet,
                           We do have a good variety of bees, Masons, wild honey bees and there are several bee keepers in the area. Plus the hornets. We have some kind of territorial bee that come back to the same stretch of yard every year. He is the size of a bee and looks like a bee. He buzzes me every time i walk into his patch but now i just ignore him.He flys back and forth at eye height and can be a bit worrying at time but even though he confront me, he still does not get too close. He gave Angel the run around last year until she got fed up. I would say once the temperature rises a few degrees, the bugs will start to appear. We have the most beautiful dragon flies,,ones that I saw Mrs Hubs hubs catching and pulling the wings off and eating as a demo to her daughter. I did not like that but another dragon fly was back the following year. Birds are scarce apart from two different types of hawks, one of which is a kestrel. But Bees,,They will be along for sure.
                                                                       Biff
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todthedog
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 07:03:22 PM »

Stan do they sting?
Somewhere in my head I have it that they either don't sting or can multiple sting without killing themselves.
I have always got them onto a finger or likely in cupped hands.
Not been stung yet facepalm
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Kidwelly South Wales
stannn
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 08:01:04 PM »

Tod, a search shows that queen and worker can sting without self harm as the sting has no barb to prevent removal. About once a year, Mrs S disturbs a nest during gardening, whereupon she beats a tactical retreat out of harms way, although they do get a bit uppity.
I've made a couple of bird boxes this last week to go with many more. They're built like brick shiphouses to protect their tenants. It has allowed me to try supporting them on the tree trunks by only a loop of heavy baler twine which goes around and under the nailed lid. So the loop is at an angle to horizontal and uses friction. With a curved register where the back of the lid meets the trunk, it feels very firm. The proof will be in the pudding!
Stan
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Nickel2
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 08:32:23 PM »

In the back garden I have a 'small' pile of brick rubble that has had soil added to it over the years. Every year I see them come and go from the area but with no discernible entrance. I just let them get on with it; they ignore me, I ignore them. They obviously have a purpose in the greater plan, and I have no intention of disrupting them. Live and let-live as far as I am concerned. Smiley
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oliver90owner
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 08:38:54 PM »

One came to rest on the net curtain inside the fanlight of a window, in Canterbury, over three weeks ago.  I knew it was there but my wife noticed it the following morning when it started buzzing loudly.  I had to let it out of the window, as my wife should carry an epipen for bee stings!
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oliver90owner
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 09:45:25 PM »

I expect they are similar to honeybees.  All females have a sting, but the workers are disposable in the context of nest protection.  Their barbed stings tear their sting sac from their abdomen and venom continues to be pumped into the target for some time.  The queen rarely stings if handled and her sting is normally only used to kill other queen bees.  It has no barbs like thecworkers.

Drones - no sting
Workers - barbed sting
Queens - smooth sting.

Wasps - a different ball game!

Miner bees, which are like Mason bees, are actually solitary bees but clearly make their tunnels in close proximity to others.  They (both Miner and Mason bees) do not nurse their larvae - they fill the tunnel with several separate eggs, along with an adequate food supply with each, and leave them sealed from each other to develop into bees, entirely on their own.  They are stingless.

Bumbles (only young mated queens) hibernate and come out in spring to found a new nest. She makes the nest and nurses the larvae until the first round of workers emege from pupation.  Only then does she remain in the nest as queen ( the egg layer).  Drones and queens are only produced much later in the season, just before the nest is abandoned.  The queens hibernate in north facing banks, so that they are not awakened  too early in spring, by unseasonal short sunny periods.  So no ‘he’ bees are around in spring - only queens.

Tree bees are a relatively new import (most bumbles nest at, near, or under the ground) and are rather more feisty than our indigenous varieties and will attack without provocation on occasions.

Bumbles do not return to the same site as the previous year’s nest.  Often never or at least until any previous nesting site has been cleared of any possible pathogens.  Some larval infections can remain active, as spores, for several years.

Questions?
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biff
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 11:09:03 PM »

Excellent O 90.
              surrender
                Biff
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 11:11:36 PM by biff » Logged

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stannn
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 07:34:23 AM »

I'm no expert but the Wiki suggests that the worker bumble also has no barb on the sting.

Queen and worker bumblebees can sting. Unlike in honeybees, a bumblebee's sting lacks barbs, so the bee can sting repeatedly without injuring itself; by the same token, the sting is not left in the wound.[83][84] Bumblebee species are not normally aggressive, but may sting in defence of their nest, or if harmed.

Stan
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 07:37:24 AM by stannn » Logged

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todthedog
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 07:36:40 AM »

Thanks chaps Grin
My contact has been steering them from a poly tunnel. Not seen in Wales as yet.
Stan, I have used an old bike inner tube as the hinge for the nest box to allow cleaning out. Not much scope here, lack of trees but a good variety on the bird feeders. We have red kites cruising  level with our bungalow over the valley. I have an ancient pair of binoculars, dating from my Dad's contretemps with Rommel, ( the grading lines for a 25 pounder are off-putting)) any thoughts of a good all-rounder to replace same?
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Kidwelly South Wales
stannn
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2018, 09:16:35 AM »

Brass screws here Tod. The floor is held on by 2 brass screws to allow cleaning. I find that steel screws are rusted up when you want to remove them.
Just been watching the cade lambs being given milk. The very weakest were having a tube fed down the throat and milk poured in. Occasionally the tube goes down wrong hole and the lamb drowns, as per one on the floor.
Adjacent are 2 temporary pens, each with a ewe tied up whilst it fosters one or two cade lambs.
Stan
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dickster
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2018, 10:06:38 AM »

Down here in the South (UK) we have a wild bees nest in a yew tree which for the past 11 years has been active.

Glad to say that last Wednesday it was up and running again for 2018.

(swallows arrived on Saturday).

Warms the heart.

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Sprinter
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2018, 11:27:56 AM »

we did see a monster of a Bumbler on Saturday flying around the garden checking things over.

No Swallows yet, we are awaiting there arrival any time in the next couple of weeks.
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todthedog
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2018, 12:52:17 PM »

First swallow spied yesterday Grin
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Kidwelly South Wales
stannn
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2018, 03:07:28 PM »

As regards binoculars Tod. some of the largest bird reserves have a really interesting shop with a decent range of optical equipment that you can try through the window. RSPB and the county wildlife trusts are the candidates. Ultimately the glue bonding compound lenses deteriorates to reduce the performance. You'll probably see that effect on your Dad's binoculars.
Stan
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