excerpt taken from http://www.bumblebee.org/faqNests.htm
Really the best answer to this question is Do nothing! You can, of course, look forward to enjoying watching the bees come and go. The farmers who grow tomatoes under glass pay a fortune for bumblebee nests, yours is free, and at the end of the nesting period you will have a bumblebee nest to look at and examine. You can try following the bees to see if they all visit similar shape and colour flowers. In fact you should consider yourself quite lucky.
However I realise that you may be looking at these pages because you are worried about where the nest is located and what might happen. You may not feel lucky after all. Firstly I must reassure you that bumblebee nests are not like honey bee hives, they last only a few months, and are usually small enough to hold, and bumblebees are not as ferocious as wasps. The bees are fairly placid and are unlikely to sting unless they feel their nest is threatened. So if the nest is under the house or shed it is best just to leave it. Bumblebees do not damage brickwork or wood.
Some of the bumblebees which make smaller nests, Bombus pratorum and B. hortorum do sometimes chose strange places to nest. Their nests are small and in the case of B. pratorum are usually very short lived. So again, I would say leave the nest alone. If this is impossible, for example if the nest is under your rotary lawnmower that you forgot to clean last year, or in the pocket of your gardening jacket that you left in the shed at the end of last summer. You may feel that you have no choice.
Well you can try to move the nest to somewhere more suitable, or even better, remove the lawnmower. Read my section on stings before attempting to move a nest. Firstly you need a container big enough to hold the nest. Anything fairly strong will do, a sandwich box, a small biscuit tin, an old teapot. Or you could make a nest box, almost any weatherproof container will do as long as you make a hole big enough for the bees to get in and out. If you can get hold of the book by Sladen, Alford or Prys-Jones, they have many designs for artificial nests. If the nest is to be placed outside then the container must be weatherproof, but if you found the nest in a shed than it is best to leave it in the shed, it won’t cause you any bother, and the bees obviously prefer it.
Next you should...more
|Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 22:18|