Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bumblebee nest box plans

I've succumbed and made a page of very simple plans for nest boxes using flowerpots and other stuff. It is so sad that people spend a fortune on commercial nest boxes, that often have unsuitable or no nesting materials, then site them in the wrong place and get so disappointed. Even if they do everything right their chances of success are only 25% at best. And this is why I've tried to keep away from this subject. There is no house hunter more picky than a nest searching queen. Her des. res. is dingy tunnel leading to an abandoned mouse/vole nest complete with nesting materials as well as poo and smell of urine. Not a beautifully crafted pine box stinking of glue and pine resin stuck on the end of a pole.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Bombus hortorum photgraphs

These three photographs were taken in July, and I have just now got round to processing them. The one above was taken in the woods by a path. The path is near the edge of the woods, and this patch of scabious is nearly always full of bumblebees, hoverflies moths and butterflies.
The photographs above and below were taken in the garden. I planted a lot of lavender in the garden as I love the smell and it is so good for bumblebees, moths and other insects. In the past week I've been trimming the lavender, and even then it is a pleasure as when you cut it you are rewarded by the lovely smell. A couple of days ago I was turning the compost bins - not a job I enjoy - but the recently cut lavender stems still smelled so nice. I have one more bin to do. We have 3 bins in all, and it is amazing how quickly they fill up.

In the photograph below the worker is foraging on Viper's bugloss. I didn't plant this flower. It just grew, and I let it grow to see what it was. Well, it was wonderful. I cannot recall a time when it did not have a bumblebee on it. Hortorum and pascuorum used it most, but little pratorum workers managed to squeeze into the flower too. So it is perfect for the longer tongued bumblebees. I am hoping it will self-seed for next year.