Posted: 02/07/2013 at 13:25
I did a prelimiary search of the forum and found lots on bees but not quite what I was looking for but I apologise if my questions (see penultimate paragraph) have been answered before.
A few months ago I stored some logs from a felled fir tree next to my compost bins. A few weeks back I temporarily stored some grass cuttings and other cuttings on top of the wood (my compost bins were full).
This weekend I had the time to empty the bottom half of my compost bins with contained the 'good stuff' and it was my intention to clean the area up including adding those cuttings sitting loose on top of the logs.
I soon realised that I appear to have a bees nest. When I removed some of the cuttings and logs, I was suddenly surrounded by a few bees which appeared to be a little agitated. I beat a hasty retreat and came back about an hour later to investigate. I saw bees coming out of the area under the logs (there is some earth here so they might be coming out of the ground but I cannot know without disturbing the bees again). I am no expert on bees but with the assistance of 'Google' they do appear to be the size of a honey bee but I have no idea if they are or not (I appreciate there are several species).
I am thrilled to have them, I have seen many more bees in my garden this year than any other and it is wonderful for my children to see bees collecting the nectar (not least because the two monkeys seem to have stopped picking the flowers off their stems)! The hive (if it is one) is in an area which my children cannot reach (yet).
My questions are: 1) do the bees vacate the hive after 'x' amount of time? 2) Should I leave well alone and compost elsewhere for a while? 3) I know there are programs in place to monitor whats happening to our bees but are there any organisations I can report the find to (I live in Surrey).
Thank you in advance for your assistance.