Re: OT- Bumblebees
posted at 4/11/2010 10:07 AM EDT
In Response to Re: OT- Bumblebees
They are huge, they are fuzzy and they are traveling in what I call a flock. There are usually at least 3 of them out there at a time and my patio/back garden is about 300 sq feet so I'm running around like an idiot. I'm in DC, well No. VA, so it's not really the Northeast. So, I'm still not sure what they are! I just know I want them gone. lol. I'll have to look more closely. It's a brick townhouse w/ wood trim. They love the bow window in the dining room that looks out over the patio so there may be a nest there. I got some industrial strength spray but it's been windy and I don't want to asphyxiate myself. I understand the cross pollination argument and if they weren't bugs [anything that is creepy to me is a bug], I would probably try to find a humane way to get rid of them. If I could reason w/ them and ask them nicely to leave, I'd do that, but I have no problem w/ bombing them to hell and back if it keeps them out of my garden. Small, fuzzy creatures I would feel some pity for; bigass bees, not so much. ;-)
Posted by ALF72
ALF, these big fuzzy old bees are about the least likely to sting you.
And totally impossible for you to get rid of.
I know little about bees beyond what we get in info for people with crops and orchards.
But important tidbits:
Everyone knows about honey bee decline, because since they live in huge colonies, people keep them for profit, and keep track of them.
But old Bumblebees actually are a bigger pollinator, much more action for a smaller number. They live in tiny nests, and because they may have a nest for every 50 - 70 bees, since they only store a little food, there are lots of nests in brush and bushes and all, you will not locate. They fly up to 2 miles in a day. In DC areas, with the large amount of flowers and flowering shrubs, this time of year, that means they are everywhere. Mess with a small nest, which can be in a little hollow in brick, under a bush branch, in mulch - any where - and they will all buzz around and make a new one.
Wait until this high spring everything-in-blossom fades a bit, many will be off inland to grasses and crops.
Many species of bumblebee have in fact gone extinct in recent years. They live better through cold spells, in more variable places than big colony bees.
My favorite fact - that they prove some Brits do have a sense of humor - they picked their latin name as Bomb us (actually bombus terra-something.)
Ignore them, and simply don't deliberately wave things around to stir them up, and you will be fine.
Also, they will get quieter in a few weeks. The buzz is mostly not wing noise, they actually have little motors in muscles to warm their little bodies, and as the weather gets warmer they will fly more quietly.
Don't kill harmless but overwhelmingly helpful critters. Not if you want to eat apples and produce grown in your states, and not all imported. From places where they know enough not to kill them.