Native Bumble Bee Nest Removal
The population levels of many of the indigenous Bumble Bee species living here on the North Shore are known to be declining. Studies have shown that one type, the Western Bumble Bee, which was estimated in 1984 to account for approximately half of all the Bumble Bees in our area, has nowlost up to 95% of its population and will soon disappear entirely from our gardens and yards if no action is taken to help preserve them.
In an effort to help maintain the natural diversity and population levels of these vitally important environmental partners we have begun a education and conservation program here on the North Shore.The “BeeFriendly” program is being developed to help create a better understanding of the life-cyclesof the native bee species in our community and to learn how to successfully remove and relocate their nests from properties and locations in which they are discovered and are not wanted or not viable.
The Bumble Bee species native to the North Shore have a nesting cycle that typically begins each year in late March or early April, with the establishing of a new nesting site, and continues until mid Sept. or early Oct., at which time the colony dies off and the newly mated Bumble Bee Queen bees begin their winter “hibernation” underground. Bumble Bee nest populations rarely exceed more than 300 individual members at one time and generally do very little damage to the environment, natural or man-made, in which they are located.
Bumble Bees, like any other creature, will defend it’s home when invaded or attacked, but are generally, under normal circumstances, a very docile and gentle type of bee. Not very interested in doing anything more than collecting the pollen and nectar it needs to rear it’s young and maintain the colony.
The removal and relocating of an established Bumble Bee Nest is a very stressful and disruptive process for the colony and the Bumble Bee Queenquite often stops laying eggs as a result of the move, leading to the collapse of the colony and loss of the only fertile female. Re-locations of healthy Bumble Bee nests have a very poor level of success in most cases, and for this reason we recommend that whenever possible, the bees should be left undisturbed and allowed to complete the cycle of life that has ensured their survival for an estimated 20 million years.