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Author Topic: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK  (Read 7561 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2022, 11:16:09 pm »
I don't think I fancied blue smarties anyway  :roflanim:  I'm sure that wasn't a colour when I last had a smartie  :thinking:


Do you know if bumble bees communicate with their nest the same way honey bees do (wiggle dance)?  I have read that it takes far fewer bumble bees to pollinate a particular sized orchard, garden or whatever, than honey bees, bumbles being more efficient.


I grew up in Norfolk where every mature tree had a mantle of ivy.  I didn't notice the hum then, but now where I live in Scotland there aren't many deciduous woods and very few trees have ivy.  Hence our barn which has a thick ivy covering being quite unusual.  I have tried propagating the ivy to grow over other buildings but my last lot died in last year's drought.  Time to try again.....  It's marvellous stuff for all sorts of wildlife and for all sorts of reasons.


So @waddy doesn't it make any difference to the bees whether or not you grow flowers under the fruit trees?
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2022, 10:09:20 am »
I read somewhere about how long it takes for the nectaries to recharge, I think comfrey was about 20minutes? Compared with another plant which took much longer. You learn something new everyday, I thought once the bees had been there it was finished, changed what I think about flower choice completely
Does anyone know of a list of 'recharging'  times?

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2022, 10:17:18 am »
I just did a search on 'bees nectaries refill'
There is a GW article published 13th Jan this year, interesting.
Maybe not so much for those who have read the books  :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2022, 12:12:07 pm »
I never read GW - too full of adverts, even the articles are adverts!


I am fascinated by bees smelly feet, which is how they let other bees know there's no point in seeking anything from that flower because it's been drained.  Presumably the smell from their feet has dispersed by the time the nectaries refill?
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2022, 01:46:24 pm »
The article is a coincidence,
but i do get GW, only because hubs buys Tesco fuel, collects Clubcard points and there is nothing else remotely interesting to buy with them !

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2022, 05:16:01 pm »
The article is a coincidence,
but i do get GW, only because hubs buys Tesco fuel, collects Clubcard points and there is nothing else remotely interesting to buy with them !

Desperation  :roflanim: :roflanim:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2022, 05:57:53 pm »
The article is a coincidence,
but i do get GW, only because hubs buys Tesco fuel, collects Clubcard points and there is nothing else remotely interesting to buy with them !

Desperation  :roflanim: :roflanim:
Yup  :roflanim:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2022, 12:26:46 am »
A couple of days ago I posted that my first flowers of the year, aconites and snowdrops, have appeared.
Surely I can't be the first person to have new year flowers?
I am hoping to catch first sightings of both bumble bees and of flowers they might visit from every corner of the country, so when you find some you haven't mentioned yet, please post and let us know where you are  :D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2022, 12:21:20 pm »
Bumblebees donít do waggle dancing. I seem to remember they may buzz excitedly and try to get others to follow them to good patches but not sure about that.

Itís normally March the first queens are out in Scotland. The carder bumblebees donít really get going till may. I have notes on all this stuff and guess itís in my thesis somewhere.

Ivys great for wildlife but different builders have told me itís a slow death sentence for buildings and my own observations confirm the roots can go right through walls with lime mortar.

Different species of flowers take different lengths of time to refill their nectar. Of much interest is the quality of pollen and nectar as well as quantity. Legumes have high protein pollen. Lime nectar can be so plentiful and partially ferment as to intoxicate they bees leaving them slow and vulnerable to predation by birds like great tits.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2022, 12:44:01 pm »
Thanks Steph Hen.  I shall get to that bit in the bee book at some point!


The question of ivy on walls is still under discussion.  There are those who say that the ivy destroys the walls and others who say that ivy can actually hold dodgy walls together and that it's when you pull the ivy off that the damage is caused.  If you think about it though it's effectively the same thing.  The ivy on our barn must have been there since long before we arrived, probably as long as 50 years.  The barn is still standing - we didn't remove the ivy when we had everything else repointed with lime mortar.


Is there a list somewhere of which pollen and nectar is the best quality for bees and whether it's different for honey bees and bumble bees?  That's another point we will have to consider in our flower and tree lists.
For predation of sleepy bees, we just have to accept the circular nature of ecosystems I suppose.


Although we shan't be seeing bees out and about up here for a few weeks yet, I am looking forward to finding out who sees them first elsewhere in the UK.  Waddy has already seen some honey bees foraging in Somerset in the unusually warm January
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 12:48:47 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2022, 12:42:34 am »
I was just about to ask if there was a prize for the first sighting, then read Waddy had seen honeybees,
But what about bumblies? I suppose I'd be about last anyway,  :(;D .
I always think ivy keeps the wall dryer, possibly warmer? As FW says, problem comes when pulling it down, need to cut sections out so it withers in summer.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2022, 05:25:39 pm »
I have one tiny viola which has come out today  :thumbsup:  Not much use to a bee really as they're still sound asleep.


Ooh what shall we have as a prize for the first Bumble Bee sighting?  Nothing but fame, no fortune, sorry  :o
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2022, 02:21:38 pm »
I have been having such fun reading Dave Goulson's 'Gardening for Bumble Bees' book.  I had to finish a rather uninspiring online course before I could start it, but it was worth the wait.
I've only got to page 64/5 so far but have learned not only about Bumbles but also Solitary Bees and my little pals the Hover Flies.  There is one Cuckoo HF which 'flicks' its eggs into a host Miner Bee's nest tube so they hatch into larvae which mooch about eating detritus in the nest until they hatch into new adults, no harm done to the Solitary bee. Another lays its eggs in a flower so the hatched larva hitches a ride on the host bee to get into the nest.  Not all just do the cleaning, some do predate the host bee's young.
I no longer fear identifying the most numerous queens- there are only half a dozen or so which get as far north as me anyway.
The only Scottish BB is the Great Yellow BB which was found recently in the far north, so I'll not be seeing that in my garden either.


Dave Goulson's book is only about £12 for those who can bring themselves to buy from Amawotsit and it's well worth that cost  :bee: :bee: :bee:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2022, 08:05:48 am »
I have been having such fun reading Dave Goulson's 'Gardening for Bumble Bees' book.  I had to finish a rather uninspiring online course before I could start it, but it was worth the wait.
I've only got to page 64/5 so far but have learned not only about Bumbles but also Solitary Bees and my little pals the Hover Flies.  There is one Cuckoo HF which 'flicks' its eggs into a host Miner Bee's nest tube so they hatch into larvae which mooch about eating detritus in the nest until they hatch into new adults, no harm done to the Solitary bee. Another lays its eggs in a flower so the hatched larva hitches a ride on the host bee to get into the nest.  Not all just do the cleaning, some do predate the host bee's young.
I no longer fear identifying the most numerous queens- there are only half a dozen or so which get as far north as me anyway.
The only Scottish BB is the Great Yellow BB which was found recently in the far north, so I'll not be seeing that in my garden either.


Dave Goulson's book is only about £12 for those who can bring themselves to buy from Amawotsit and it's well worth that cost  :bee: :bee: :bee:


Yes the book is really interesting. I think I must spend my last book token on it, as I had to return the library copy unfortunately...

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Gardening for Bumble Bees in the UK
« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2022, 12:44:26 pm »
I think it is worth having as a reference book.  I know I simply could never keep all that info in my already overstuffed brain  :roflanim:
I can hardly wait now for the queens to start coming out of hibernation so I can check them out, although we have plenty of snow to look forward to before they can do that.
If I can find a minute I could share some of what I have learnt about Bumble Bees and the flowers they like, according to the guru  8)  Right now I'm in a spring cleaning mood  :tired: :tired: :tired:  but I'm sure I'll recover soon  :D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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