Where should I site the Beepol Lodge?
The Beepol bumble bee lodge should be installed on a tree, building or platform in a quiet/secluded area of the garden where it will be inaccessible to unsupervised children and pets. The entrance holes should offer a clear flight path, making it easy for the bees to access the lodge.
When will my bees start pollinating?
After 7 days, your bumble bees would have settled into the Beepol Lodge and will start to collect pollen and nectar and bring back to the nest. The Beepol hive has a clear plastic top, so you can inspect the nest from time to time. It is not necessary to do this, but if you choose to do so, be careful not to frighten the bees.
Do I need to treat the Beepol Lodge?
No. The Beepol Lodge does not need to be treated and should not be treated because it is made from natural, durable timber. Chemical treatments can be harmful to bees and the wider environment.
What species might use my Beepol Lodge?
The live bee colony provided with your voucher is the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax) which is native to Britain. Other species of bumble bee might use the lodge if the hive is left empty in subsequent seasons.
What good do bumble bees do?
Bumble bees are great pollinators and will increase your fruit, vegetable and flower crops and are widely used in commercial horticulture for this purpose. One of the main advantages of the bumble bee is that they will work in all weather conditions, when other bees are not active, making the bumble bee one of the most popular bees for the garden, orchard and greenhouse grower.
Will my bees hibernate?
Yes. Queen bees drink lots of nectar from flowers to build up their body fat and to enable them to survive the winter hibernation, then they find a suitable place to hibernate.
They will often hibernate under a tree root or at the base of a wall and never in a place that could be warmed up too early in the year by the sun. This is to prevent premature emergence. The hibernation site and nest site are usually located in different places.
The largest bumblebee in the UK, the Bombus terrestris, the queens must weigh at least 0.6 g to successfully survive the winter hibernation. During hibernation if the temperature falls below a certain point the bee automatically produces glycerol, a form of anti-freeze.
Read more about the lifecycle of your bumble bee colony here