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1684 Views 4 Replies Last post: Jun 8, 2011 4:03 PM by norwegica RSS
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May 30, 2011 8:52 PM

Bee behaviour - what's going on here?

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I saw these three bumble bees seemingly having a nice time on the pavement this Saturday (May 28th). Knowning nothing about bees, I assumed they were mating, but on reading further I have discovered that bumble bees mate in the autumn.

 

So, if they're not mating, what are they doing? Is this a 'foreign' bee, being attacked, or has the early warm weather followed by cooler weather fooled them in to thinking it is autumn, or is this a new queen starting a colony later than normal, or something else? I'd love to know. Thanks.

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    May 30, 2011 9:00 PM (in response to OldToot)
    Re: Bee behaviour - what's going on here?

    Out of my depth here, but if there was fighting, perhaps cuckoo bumblebees taking out the queen of a regular bumblebee nest?

     

    Paul

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    Jun 8, 2011 4:03 PM (in response to OldToot)
    Re: Bee behaviour - what's going on here?

    These are Bombus hypnorum, the recent coloniser. Please report your sighting to BWARS.com.


    Some bumblebee species have shorter colony cycles so are capable of producing two populations a year. So the new mated queen, above, that has just emerged from a first colony spring nest will go off and nest  itself this year. The resultant new queens from that  second population nest will be the ones to mate in the late summer/autumn which will  over-winter to start the process again next spring.

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