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Our black plastic compost bin seems to have "exploded" whilst we've been away on holiday scattering a bumblebee nest across the patch of earth nearby. Is this likely to have been caused by the recent spell of hot weather or are there any predators which may have dug out the compost to get to the bees nest ? Thre are many smallish bees busy about the exposed cells of the nest and some larger bees exploring the open bin.
could a predator get at the compost bin Jane? If it could, it would. I have 3 former nests about the meadow that have been excavated. I blame the fox
Do you know if there are badgers in the area. They are great rootlers.
Can you provide a temporary weather shelter for the exposed cells? Perhaps a box or even the patio table will offer some protection. In a few weeks the queen will go off and hibernate and the workers will die. Rats may be in the compost bin.
My money is on a badger, we have one that has dug up several bumble bee nests and a wasps nest. Unfortunatley for us the wasps nest is still pretty much in tact & they are re-buliding!
One bumble bee nest was in an old wall of loose bricks & one morning we got up to find bricks up to 8' away and a number very unhappy bees trying to rebuild on the surface. We have covered again & he has not come back. As Outdoor girl says, a bit of protection for the remaining nest is a good idea of you can.
I've never seen any badgers around the back garden but we do butt onto a mixed woodland and I have seen dead badgers on a nearby road so I suppose it's possible that they're the culprits.The bees are still busy in the exposed cells despite the torrential rain we had overnight. I will try to rig some protection against the weather but we do have another compost bin that they may eventually move to.
Thanks for all the replies guys
i saw a thing not long ago bout usuing a flower pot for bumble bee nest,,,can anyone help with info plse,,
Is it worth perhaps putting some of the compost into a pot as Simmo says, and carefully moving the brood (cells) into it? The bees will Know the scent of their brood, and will hopefully follow it. They may re-establish a small nest before winter so that the normal life-cycle can resume. My neighbour recently destroyed a BB nest when cutting his side of the hedge, and panicked. I gathered what I could and put it in my raspberry cage on the other side of the hedge, in a similar habitat a few feet away, and nowtake great pleasure in the bees checking me out and buzzing around my head when I go in to pick. I watched them excavating the site of their new nest (fascinating!), and I really think they have helped my rasps with pollination. They also attack any wasps that come too close, so they have been less of a prob in there this yr. I have a nest of BB under my shed every yr, although the exact site and entrances change. I believe that they never use the same site twice, but will stay nearby if undisturbed. Incidentally, my wee boys are happy to rescue any BB we find in the conservatory by feeding them with jam, honey or sim, on their fingers, and have never been stung. They are lovely creatures! Save if you can, pls.
Simmo45 - is this what you're looking for http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/wildlife-gardening/how-to-make-a-bumblebee-nest/167.html
Thanks for posting that tip, Dovefromabove. I'll get the kids to help me make a few.