Understanding and helping Bumble Bees
All we really need to know if we are to help Bumble bees is what they look for in a nest site and what they require in their immediate surroundings. Most, but not all, prefer dry, dark cavities to make their nests in which can turn up in a variety of unexpected places. Some nest underground, in places such as abandoned rodent holes, under sheds and even in compost heaps. Of those that nest above ground, some make nests in thick grass, while others make nests in hollow trees, bird boxes, roof spaces and cavities in stone walls. Then as it’s likely that many people will already have a place or places for some species to nest all that is needed is to leave any nest alone. If it is in your outside wall, your roof or an old rodent hole in an outbuilding they will do no harm and are extremely unlikely to sting unless seriously provoked. If you should have a nest in an open space such as a vole hole then if you could avoid interfering with the entrance by not moving objects or mowing. Just leaving a small area, say about 30cm all round, would be great as it’s now thought that roadside verge cutting is destroying a large number of nests by covering up their entrances creating more pressure on populations combined with expanding arable agriculture. Providing sufficient appropriate flowers for forage close by is also extremely important as we shall see.