We are trying Bumblebees for the first time to see if we can improve the pollination on our Blueberries since Honey Bees are sluggish this time of the year and they are not great on Blueberries. Hope it works
Good for you and for your community! I have not seen this done before and I’m super happy to see it.
Unfortunately, these bumblebees only last 1 season.
It’s expensive, so I will not do it again next year unless I see big results this year.
I am surprised the BBs only last 1 season for you. Here they naturalize and come back every year on their own.
The variety we have here are ground dwelling. They need some spots of bare ground to make their nests, and those spots need to not be disturbed (plowed, cultivated, etc).
If you could find out the life cycle of the BBs you are bringing in, perhaps you could make some habitat for them and they would stick around.
Thanks for the suggestion. Wish I knew more to provide a habitat for them so they would come back. What I bought are called Bombus impatiens but the sales literature indicated they are a one shot deal. I’m sure the folks selling the bees would rather sell more bees next year rather than show me how to carry over the bees to next year.
Southeastern Blueberry bees are common in anther part of NC and I would love to know how to get a bunch of those to move in. They are a ground nesting bees too
how much for how many bees?
the queen survives the winter to start another nest the next spring. i leave lots of old branch piles around the property. I’ve read they like to nest under there. i guess its working as we have a lot of different bumbles here. I’ve identified 3 species so far. only bee that can pollinate at 45deg. have masons too but they come out a little later. where did you get your bumbles?
I’ve seen bumble bees take over a birdhouse…and a manger in the barn…and in the insulation of a house…just a place to have a family…but some places they choose can be annoying…like in the trunk of an old car or carriage…places they can get to.
I did a quick search on that species, and it seems this species is quite widespread, and should survive in NC. www.bumblebee.org is one place that has info (as well as a bunch of others on the net). You might need to do some digging, but I think you could find the particulars for them in your area and try that.
Good Luck with it…
They also like to nest in mouse holes and will evict mice!
I just saw a couple bees today for the first time, I guess they were honey bees. They were checking out one of my peach trees with its blossoms. Hope they bring back more of their friends soon, as I have pluots and pears blooming now, too.
$300 for 4 hives of about 100 bees each
Bought the bees from Koppert Products who sell bees to a lot of large farms in
we seem to have wild bumbles around every spring, ive tried putting out ‘nests’ for them, but they never seem interested.
I was actually the same for mason bees. I had some that I was able to remove and refrigerate, but not enough. I ended up buying some again this year. I wished I had purchased leaf rollers to extend the season. Still its such a cool idea!
We have a ton of bumbles here in North Mississippi and it’s a good thing because I hardly ever see honey bees. I only have 16 blueberry bushes but can usually count 10-15 bumblebees on them at anytime in March.
The great variety of bumble bees is interesting.
At my place I have planted about 1/2 acre wildflower meadow. I keep little spots mowed for bees that need more bare ground. Now that the meadow is mature I am getting all kinds of bees including bees that I can’t identify. Bumblebees, small sweat bees, other ground bees etc.
It will work! Most of our blueberry pollination is due to bumble bees…there are tons of them around here (thankfully)!
Just put up a house for Mason bees and made a spot for them to gather clay. This year is an experiment to see what may show up in the tubes.
Excellent it took me about 3 years to attract mason bees after i set out my houses so please don’t get too let down if you do not get them the first year. I think anyone looking to draw in bumblebees should plant bee balm as its a bumble specific nectar producer during their dearth in many locations.