Why you need to avoid bumblebee nests

Bumble bees are humans' friends.

Bumble bees are humans' friends.

Everyone likes bumblebees - until they build their nest too close for comfort, that is.

Bumblebees build seasonal nests, usually underground, but also in wall cavities, and even old piles of leaves. By late spring they are literally hives of activity.

Each nest is home to a few hundred bees and occupies a space that's roughly equivalent to a soccer ball. They don't build wax comb but rather small "pots" of mud and wax which are used to store honey and as nurseries for their larvae.

* Bumblebees could be the next top pollinators
* Bumblebees tagged with radio transmitters

Contrary to a popular belief, they can sting but are less willing to do so than honeybees, who are reluctant as well. 

A bumblebee nest is only a threat if you interfere with it by digging it up or poking fingers into the entrance. 

Under these easily avoidable circumstances you are certainly likely to cop a few stings. The advice is: don't disturb bumble bee nests.

Bumblebees are unaffected by varroa mite and colony collapse disorder and are first-class pollinators, so make a little room for them, wherever they decide to set up camp, and enjoy their productive antics all summer long.

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