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Swirly's Bombus journal

bombus bumblebee

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted May 25 2021 - 3:45 PM

Swirlysnowflake

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This is a journal for my newly caught Bombus vosnesenskii queen. I've been looking for these since November and I finally caught one! There were three queens in the area I caught her (right by my house!) but I still wanted Bombus colonies in my area so I left the other two alone. 
The queen has no pollen on her legs and was scouting for a nesting site so I'm confident she hasn't founded a nest yet, which is great because that means it's likely she'll start one in captivity. 
From my research, Bombus lay eggs fairly quickly, so hopefully, I'll get some nesting behavior in a week or two. If not, I'll just release her right in the area she was found.
Currently, she is in a 32oz deli with honey water (she is drinking it up, and looks adorable) just as a temporary enclosure until I get a wooden nest box built tomorrow or so. If she gets workers I'll free-range the colony in my yard so they can forage for their own food and pollinate plants. The queen was buzzing around angrily at first but calmed down when I gave her some nectar to feed on. 
I'll get pics once she is in her wooden nest box because I don't want to disturb her :)

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#2 Offline PetsNotPests - Posted May 25 2021 - 3:50 PM

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Awesome! Can't wait for the pictures!  :D


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 25 2021 - 3:51 PM

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Wow! I can’t wait to follow this. Good luck.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#4 Offline Chickalo - Posted May 26 2021 - 5:07 AM

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Cool!  Also nice, you have the first journal in bee keeping!  Can't wait to see how they do


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Look at my location maybe;
my stuff vvv

My Formicaria Journal

My Twitter

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My Discord:  Chickalo#4322

My youtube: https://www.youtube....RVXfmA3Y5ULXnCA


#5 Online Kaelwizard - Posted May 26 2021 - 5:15 AM

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I was wondering when we would get a beekeeping journal. Good luck!


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#6 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted May 27 2021 - 7:42 AM

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Small update-
I went out again just on a walk and there were so many bumblebee queens, it’s crazy! Honestly, the abundance almost makes me think they are workers but they are huge and keep landing in holes and poking around, then traveling to another hole.
Anyways, I caught one more queen because apparently putting two queens together helps them lay eggs faster.
I’m planning to build a wooden nest this weekend, but for now they are in a knitter keeper with aspen as “substrate” until I can go pick up some better stuff.
Here is a bad picture lol
Attached File  261D6566-1A6E-448B-99A1-8E221962DFBB.jpeg   372.06KB   0 downloads
They are quite hard to photograph, because they get agitated when there is light, and start trying to fly away unless they are feeding on sugar water. Also their knitter keeper is covered on four sides with black paper so I have to take pics from the top.
Their tongues also look really cool! Wasp mouthparts are much smaller so it’s kinda different to feed the bumblebees.

Edited by Swirlysnowflake, May 27 2021 - 8:09 AM.

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#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 27 2021 - 7:51 AM

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Do you have good forage plants in your yard?


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#8 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted May 27 2021 - 8:07 AM

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Do you have good forage plants in your yard?

I have quite a few flowering plants in my yard, as well as many just outside. In summer I often see worker bumblebees and honeybees in my yard so I hope that the plants are suitable. I also plan to purchase some plants that this species specifically likes to forage on.


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#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 27 2021 - 1:52 PM

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Sounds great. Look on here for planting guides for your state: https://www.xerces.o...nter/california
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#10 Offline antsandmore - Posted May 28 2021 - 6:31 AM

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nice job with catching them. where would you recommend looking for them? also, do you even recommend them for a beginner? thanks!


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Ants I am keeping:

  • Crematogaster colony, queen and 15+ workers coming strong!

#11 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted May 28 2021 - 7:20 AM

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nice job with catching them. where would you recommend looking for them? also, do you even recommend them for a beginner? thanks!

I would recommend looking in areas with flowers, or areas you know were inhabited by Bombus colonies last spring. I’ve only ever seen queens only in areas with flowers.

I probably wouldn’t recommend bumblebees unless you’ve have at least some experience with keeping flighted insects. The bumblebees don’t like light when inside their nest, so I have to work with the queens in minimal light so they aren’t stressed. Even so there have already been some very close calls already :)
But if you are confident in your ability to handle flighted insects, I don’t think they are all that hard. There are quite a few resources online about how to raise them, and one of my queens is already showing nesting behavior!
Oh also don’t keep them unless you have an area to free range them- you can’t really contain bumblebee colonies

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#12 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted June 1 2021 - 6:44 PM

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I’m almost done constructing a wooden nest box- only the acrylic lid to go!

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#13 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted June 3 2021 - 8:46 AM

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I’m trying to score the acrylic but it won’t score. I’ve used a utility knife and a scribing knife but nothing seems to actually do much to the acrylic. I should probably just go get a jigsaw blade made for cutting acrylic lol


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#14 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 3 2021 - 9:04 AM

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I've never had luck scoring acrylic. You'll probably just need to saw it.


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.






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