Bumble bee nest

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Truffle

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Bumble bee nest
« on: June 14, 2018, 16:06 »
Afternoon all, apologize if this is posted in the wrong area.

Really need some help. My small wooden (ironically, hive shaped) composter  has a bumble bee nest in it. I noticed it a week or two ago. The numbers are slowing increasing and now probably about 20 bumble bees hovering around the composter at any time.

Hubby took the lid off last night hoping that they would leave but as they are buried in the heap they are still hanging around.

The trouble is both my kids are scared stiff of bees and it's already causing an issue and the school holidays haven't even started yet!!! In short it has got to go, no "waiting it out", no "what a fab opportunity to ..." 

I don't want to kill them as I do like bees but they do have to go. Any help or advice would be great.

Truffle.

P.S No local bee keepers and the nearest one is only interested in honey bees.

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madcat

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 17:19 »
I'm thinking about how to move it .... is the composter on a base of any sort?

As a second point - why are the kids terrified of bees?  What has got them so wound up??
All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about (Charles Kingsley)

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8doubles

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 20:12 »
Let 'em bee , it is the wrong time of year for shifting compost anyway. Just think of all the pollinating they are doing for you ! :)
Bumbles are generally non aggressive

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jaydig

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 20:20 »
I don't know how much space you have, but could you possibly erect a barrier, possibly netting, at a distance around the composter and just leave them to get on with it?  This would ensure the children wouldn't get too close to the nest, and bees, particularly if they are undisturbed, are very docile creatures who do a lot of good on the allotment. 
I suffer a sever allergic reaction to insect bites and stings, but I've quite happily worked around a swarm of bees that attached itself to one of my gooseberry bushes one year.  I just walked past them quietly and steadily, giving them a little space and they didn't bother me at all.

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Truffle

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 22:16 »
Unfortunately the compost box itself is in my garden. It is not on a base, straight on the ground, therefore I can not move it.

As I stated i can't just "let it be" as my children are scared of bees to the point of refusing to go in the garden. One or two they can handle but not 20+.

The bees are constantly back and forth and due to the small size of our garden (hence why I have an allotment) they are unavoidable. My eldest has always feared them and the youngest has just taken her phobia on board. Both children understand the importance of bee's and do not want them to be killed either, just removed so that they can enjoy the garden. 

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8doubles

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 08:00 »
Get a photo of the bee , get the kids involved then look online to find the species and their habits , they might even be non stingers !
Better to remove a phobia than pander to it and remove the bees !

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madcat

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 10:37 »
The screen around the compost bin is a good idea.  Make it tall and quite close to the bin, say 6" or so, and taller than the kids by a good margin.  Then the bees will be forced to fly up when they exit the nest, well above the kid's heads.  As the garden is small, by the time the bees are down again at flower level, they will be in next door's.  Returning they will quickly learn to stay high and go over - bees are quick learners - so by the holidays the kids won't have to see them or have anything to do with them. 

You might lose access to the bin for a while, but hey, small price to pay for reduced panics by small people over the holidays and wear and tear on your nerves.

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SnooziSuzi

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Re: Bumble bee nest
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 20:42 »
Trying to remove the nest would cause you more problems and could confuse and anger the bees (as the returning bees wouldn't be able to find their home) which would make your kids even more wary of them.

My sister's kids are both scared of everything that flies or wriggles and, I'm sorry to say it, are going to have a miserable life as a result. I'm trying to teach them the wonder and fascination of wildlife in the hope that they won't be picked on by other kids so much, and having 2 bees nests in my garden as well as my beehive is a fantastic opportunity for them to observe but from the comfort of the house.

My garden is small, too. Only scout 10m X 10m and neither the honeybees or the bumbles ever bother anyone in the garden.

As others have said; don't disturb the nest, put up a barrier and leave them.  The bumble bee lifecycle means that the workers will all be dead in the autumn and the queens that hatch later in the summer will go off somewhere to hibernate which is when you'd want to be turning your compost out anyway.



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