Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bumblebee nest box

We've rescued several queen bumblebees from the shed over the last few weeks - which reminded me to complete our bumblebee nest box project, which has been sitting unfinished on the workbench over the winter...

Last season, we found two bumblebee nests, the first under a tiled roof, which survived the season, and a second, in an old badger excavation hole behind the shed.

I thought the 'Badger-hole' nest looked to be a fairly vulnerable, so in true nature 'tooth and claw' I setup my trail camera to see if anyone else also thought so...  Pending something dramatic happening to my roof, the first one stood a much better chance of survival.

and, low and behold, along came a badger:

Our solution for this years' bumblebee queens who I keep evicting from my shed, looks like this:
This is a two chamber design, based on the one in Derek Jones' 'Bird Bee and Bug houses book:

Apparently they like a room for poo and a room for general living.

I have similar preferences :)


  1. That's really interesting. Have you had success with bee house designs before?

    I'd read that some university had conducted a trial with expensive Garden Centre boxes which proved they were a waste of money. Only about 20 boxes were used by bumblebees out of over 700 tested.

    The info on this site ( indicates that the nest material is very important, and it must be kept dry. So I may give the flower-pot design a go, and use the nest material from our blue tit box once they vacate in June.

  2. I've not done a bee house before. The book I took the design from didn't go into bedding material, so mine doesn't have any... think I will add some. The nest in my roof space didn't have an old vole nest, so maybe its not a pre-requisite? I think fondly back to the old nesting mterial that I threw out from the owl/squirrel box when I cleaned it out earlier in the year....

  3. ...I wonder if the fluff from my Dyson would be any good.