PING :-Mary Fisher[ OT bees]

Sorry to ask in here but the bees that are solitary and live in holes in the ground are they bumble bees rather than honey bees ( and are there larvae big orangey/yellow things sure I dug one up a couple of years ago ? Seen one today 'looking' in the slabs for a suitable hole for a nest (at least that is what I assume it was doing).
To add SOME relevance to this group, 'slab' it was looking in had been a side of a coal bunker that was doing service as a paving slab, bunker had been dismantled as it was an eyesore and the various parts were skipped or used as paving slabs, was quite amusing watching me trying to break up the pieces of bunker with an 8lb mash and a reciprocating saw to deal with the rebar.
--
Yours S. addy not usable (not that you would try it) ( )
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant! / \
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In uk.d-i-y, Soup wrote:

Honey bees (apis mellifera) live in large colonies (1000 - 10,000), bumble bees live in groups, their "nests" look like a cluster of yellow grapes. Bees that live in the ground are probably "solitary bees", they tend not to sting, they also like to plug every hole, wherever it is, with earth!
--
Nige

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More like 30,000 over winter, rising to 90,000 plus over the summer.
-- LSR
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In uk.d-i-y, Elessar wrote:

Oops! I forgot a zero in each one. It was midnight ;-~}
--
Nige

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Well, they do inside. The yellow 'grapes' are individual wax cups. They are always surrounded by a shell of moss, grass, leaves, straw or the like. The can look, from the outside, like a small bird's nest. To see the cells you have to destroy the nest, which is a shame.

Some bumble bees excavate earth and make nests underground. I was once called to a house where bumble bees had excavated under a slab of stone. The nest was almost a yard underground. I don't think such a depth is common.

Solitary bees cannot ever sting, they don't have the equipment. They don't need to either because they have no common brood to defend.

Only the ones which excavate holes in earth. Those which excavate walls use mud, leaf cutter bees plug their holes (usually in trees although they will utilise clusters of tubes) with pieces of leaves, especially cut from roses but not exclusively.
The holes are plugged when the bee has finished laying in the hole and provided each egg with a food supply of pollen. The plug will remain until the first adult insect matures and emerges (the last to be laid!).
Mary

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are
The
The
use
will
roses
Peas growing on the patio (near nesting block) and a poor fuscia (other end of garden) looked like swiss cheese plants last year... Have loads of photos of the bees in action, completely fascinating.

When do they emerge, Mary? We're watching our "bee hotel" in keen anticipation... (block of iroko with about 50 6" holes of varying sizes drilled in it, and a handful of garden canes in the "eves". 50% of holes plugged completely)
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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In uk.d-i-y, Mary Fisher wrote:

I've always suspected as much, thanks for the confirmation.

Yes, which is a pity, as they keep filling in my front door keyhole. They also fill in the screw holes underneath wooden patio furniture, so you get invaded by loads of bees. When they have hatched, fill the holes in with a bit of dowel.
Hey, back on topic!
--
Nige

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They're not honey bees.
I've never seen the larvae of solitary bees so can's help you there - but they wouldn't be very big. There are very many insects living in the soil, they all go through a larval stage, what you dug up could have been anything.
Bumble bees aren't solitary, they're classes as 'semi social' because they do live in small colonies, up to about 200 in one nest.
Oddly, though, solitary bees tend to live in groups because they are exploiting the ideal habitat for their (solitary) nest making. Sometimes there will be just one hole with several tunnels leading off it with solitary nests excavated by several solitary bees.

Solitary bees don't have stings so please don't be frightened of them and do try to preserve their habitat if you can.
Bumble bees do have stings but if you're stung by one you've provoked it so much that you deserve it! Their habitats are important too.
Mary
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<http://fp.oxbeeco.f9.co.uk/frameone.htm
--
Alan
mailto:news2me_a snipped-for-privacy@amacleod.clara.co.uk
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I put up some bat boxes a few years ago.
The bluetits love them.        :o(
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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You might care to go to:
<http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/pie/BumblebeeSurvey/
where there are some rather good photographs. And an invitation to take part in "The National Bumblebee Nest Survey" - which we are going to do next month.
--
Rod

www.annalaurie.co.uk
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I'm always just a little suspicious about websites being recommended but anything which comes out of Rothamsted is sound.
Mary

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