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Bumble bee rearing?


36 replies to this topic

#1 Offline kellakk - Posted January 20 2015 - 7:10 PM

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Hi everyone, does anyone have experience in rearing bumble bees, or has heard of people rearing them? I was hoping to try my hand at it this spring but I have no idea when or where to find queens here.  My plan is to follow this guide once I figure out whether I can get a queen or not.


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Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#2 Offline LAnt - Posted January 20 2015 - 8:11 PM

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This looks pretty cool. Keep us updated as I have no idea.

#3 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted January 20 2015 - 9:07 PM

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Seriously, looking over that got me into it. I will read the whole thing and try as well. :)



#4 Offline Tpro4 - Posted January 20 2015 - 9:53 PM

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And then every now and then catch a bee to feed to the ants
Remember Dragon Warrior, anything is possible when you have inner peace. - Master Shifu

Current Queens:
1 Unknown Pogomyemex
1 Solenopsis Xyloni

#5 Offline dermy - Posted January 22 2015 - 1:22 PM

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I know someone who has had a ton of success with Rearing Bumble bees, later on I will show you some of his Videos. His Colonies got huge!



#6 Offline kellakk - Posted January 22 2015 - 1:28 PM

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I know someone who has had a ton of success with Rearing Bumble bees, later on I will show you some of his Videos. His Colonies got huge!

 

Great! Are you referring to actual bumble bees or honeybees, because I know sometimes people don't realize there is a difference.


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#7 Offline Crystals - Posted January 22 2015 - 2:41 PM

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I know that Dermy knows the difference.  :D  He can even give the scientific names for most wasps in his area.

 

I know some of my neighbors use bumblebee boxes with success.  Often small boxes with some sort of insultation, and the spring queens find it and move in.

I hear leaving a bit of pollen inside can help encourage them to move in.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#8 Offline kellakk - Posted January 22 2015 - 3:13 PM

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I know that Dermy knows the difference.  :D  He can even give the scientific names for most wasps in his area.

 

I know some of my neighbors use bumblebee boxes with success.  Often small boxes with some sort of insultation, and the spring queens find it and move in.

I hear leaving a bit of pollen inside can help encourage them to move in.

 I don't mean to offend, I just deal with people that know nothing about insects so often.  :)

 

Just putting out boxes for bumble bees to nest in sounds like a great idea, but I'm worried that the only thing I will be attracting is the naturalized honey bees.  I think I will be doing a similar thing for carpenter bees and mason bees though.


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Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#9 Offline dean_k - Posted January 22 2015 - 3:56 PM

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I probably have a bee queen hibernating in my front yard garden. The only reason I didn't dig her up was because it was a bee. If it was an ant queen, I would have dug.


Edited by dean_k, January 22 2015 - 3:56 PM.


#10 Offline LAnt - Posted January 22 2015 - 4:46 PM

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A small box will probably not attract a huge honeybee swarm.
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#11 Offline kellakk - Posted January 22 2015 - 5:46 PM

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A small box will probably not attract a huge honeybee swarm.

I've found honeybees nesting in the places that you would expect bumble bees before.  Most commonly, I see naturalized colonies in the hollows of oak trees. These are hollows that open to the ground, like where a mouse would nest.


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#12 Offline InsideAntz - Posted January 22 2015 - 7:46 PM

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My neighbor has box tall box in his back yard with honey bees. Stands about 4 or 5 feet. They get in my pool and when I lay down honey to attract ants they go crazy for it. They must only come out once in a while because only once in a while they swarm on my honey (yes i am corny and I do feed the wild ants).   :yahoo:  



#13 Offline dermy - Posted January 23 2015 - 8:05 AM

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Crystals is right I know a lot more about wasps then ants even. My local Bombus Species around here are usually just Bombus impatiens as well as some other species that I have had a hard time IDing, mainly because there is like a dozen or more species that look the same. I've never tried my hand at raising up a colony but I might do it if I can find a nest in my shed again [sadly it was too small to relocate, it was just the starting of a nest, and boy was Mrs. Bumble Bee not happy [although she was brooding and didn't fly, she did run at me :lol: ]

Here are a few videos of my friend's Bumble Bee Colonies: [who happens to be the one that got me into Wasps]

Fairly Large Colony:

Here was a video he made showing how his colony grew from one queen to many workers and such [not my type of music though blah!]

Really Old [I'm thinking this was one of his earlier attempts]

This was one of his first "Bumble Bee Rearing Boxes" I remember reading on a forum about how "Well" that one worked out haha!

 

I know they aren't very Informative but they are still interesting.



#14 Offline kellakk - Posted January 23 2015 - 8:22 AM

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That's very interesting!  Those recycled shoeboxes work well for him?  Oh, and do you rear wasps as well? I was thinking of getting a Polistes sp. colony this year.


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#15 Offline dermy - Posted January 23 2015 - 8:34 AM

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I don't have Polistes, I'm stuck with Vespula and Dolichevespula and all that. I've heard Polistes is easy compared to Yellow Jackets.



#16 Offline dermy - Posted January 23 2015 - 3:54 PM

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Here is another vid showing his colony during a storm:



#17 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted January 23 2015 - 4:07 PM

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What are bumblebee combs made out of? Paper like wasps? Wax like bees? Something else?



#18 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted January 23 2015 - 4:27 PM

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I do believe people sell queens, and many other things for raising them, you should raise them for their honey as well like beekeepers do so you get free honey!



#19 Offline dermy - Posted January 23 2015 - 4:54 PM

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It is made from wax and Pollen.

 

You can not eat Bumble Bee honey, there isn't enough there for Humans, they just store enough for their own Need. Since Bumble bees do not need to Hibernate Like Bees, they only go for one season, not like Honeybees. Plus their "Honey" is more like Nectar then Honey, since it has more of a water Content to it. Again I attribute this to the fact they don't need to store up for Winter, like Honey Bees Do. Plus how are you going to "Harvest" this so called Honey?


Edited by dermy, January 23 2015 - 4:55 PM.

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#20 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted January 23 2015 - 5:01 PM

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It is made from wax and Pollen.

 

You can not eat Bumble Bee honey, there isn't enough there for Humans, they just store enough for their own Need. Since Bumble bees do not need to Hibernate Like Bees, they only go for one season, not like Honeybees. Plus their "Honey" is more like Nectar then Honey, since it has more of a water Content to it. Again I attribute this to the fact they don't need to store up for Winter, like Honey Bees Do. Plus how are you going to "Harvest" this so called Honey?

As in for the ants, I don't even really like honey. You could take an unused chunk off the nest (safely) and just give it all to the ants, maybe even give them pieces with larva in it for protein.






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