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1707 Views 3 Replies Last post: Mar 29, 2011 3:09 PM by jaguarondi RSS
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Mar 26, 2011 7:51 PM

Bumblebee sleeping underground

I don't really know anything about bumblebees, but when I was gardening the other day, I dug up a bush and found a very furry, sleepy bumblebee buried deep in the roots of the bush. I was very surprised to see it and thought it was dead at first, but after I touched it (gently and rather warily!) it seemed to come to life, after about 20 minutes it flew up and over to a yellow flowering forsythia bush where it stayed for a couple of hours. Is it normal to find bumblebees buried so deep in the soil? It was at least 20cm below the surface level of the soil. Was it hibernating? Does anyone know what kind of bumblebee it might have been? It was large, furry with orangey stripes rather than yellow. Thank you for any suggestions
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    Mar 27, 2011 9:26 AM (in response to Aideen)
    Re: Bumblebee sleeping underground
    The recent warm weather has woken lots of queens from their hibernation and they've been looking for nest sites. Did you find it before or during the warm spell? But even if they can't find a nest site then they've got to shelter somewhere. So maybe your bee had found what it thought was a possible nest site (until you shattered it's dreams) or it was just sheltering - or still hibernating if it was before the warm spell.
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        Mar 29, 2011 3:09 PM (in response to Aideen)
        Re: Bumblebee sleeping underground
        If it was during the warm spell perhaps it had already woken from its hibernation. But whether it thought it had found a suitable nest site might depend on the amount of room there was where you found it. At this time of year I see them checking out holes in the ground in my garden but they usually reappear a few minutes later and fly off, so they are fussy. Re species, I don't know of any that have several red stripes, but there are some that just have a red tail (e.g. Bombus lapidarius) and others that have a reddish tail and some yellow stripes (e.g. Bombus terrestris)
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