Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) – we do not treat or remove

Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) – we do not treat or remove

1st June 2015
Tree Bees using a bird box

The sunshine is out (hooray!) and so are the bees (hooray!) and as a result we have been receiving telephone calls from customers saying they think they have a wasp nest! It is too early for wasp nests and the insects are more than likely bees.

Bees of course are not a pest and are a beneficial insect which we need to be protecting.   We will not treat bees of any type.

The following information is from bwars.com’s website – I hope they do not mind us copying it but think it is very interesting and helpful.

If you have bees in your eaves/hole in a wall or bird box – you are very lucky to have been chosen as a bee landlord. The bees are most likely to be Tree Bee which is a relatively new bee to this Country.

A queen of Bombus hypnorum at rest on a leaf

The Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) was first reported in the UK in the summer of 2001 from a specimen found on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border. In the years immediately following its discovery,  it appeared regularly in the Southampton area, and new populations were found in Hertfordshire. Since 2007, there has been a massive expansion of  range and recorded abundance. Records have come in from as far north as Northumberland, and as far west as Wales and Cornwall. On continental Europe, the species is widespread and plentiful and can be found even on the Kola Peninsula in Arctic Russia. Primarily, it is a bee of lowland sites, and is strongly associated with parks and gardens.

It is predominantly an early season species. The queens emerge from hibernation in February or early March, and workers are active throughout the early spring. The species is at its most obvious in late May and June, when the colonies are producing males. A partial second brood is active in the summer.
Habitat and Conservation

Bombus hypnorum regularly establishes colonies in cavities above ground, and this includes roof spaces, rot holes in trees and in bird nest boxes.

Tree bees are found in a variety of habitats, from woodlands, roadside verges and scrubby grasslands, to town parks, gardens and allotments. The bees are regularly found visiting flowers of fruit trees and fruit bearing plants such as bramble and raspberry, where they can be effective pollinators and improve crop yield. The bee has the potential to colonise the whole of Great Britain, and is unlikely to impact negatively on other species.

Visiting Alkanet flowers. Showing unique colour pattern

For more information see Bwars web site at http://www.bwars.com/ and also http://bumblebeeconservation.org/images/uploads/Bee_Craft_May_2013,_Bombus_hypnorum.pdf and also  The Tree Bee Society at ~www.treebee.org.uk

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