Regular readers will know that I am rather fond of bees.
So I was delighted when I found a bumblebee nest in one of the fairy mounds – can’t really show a picture as the bees had sensibly hidden it in the long grass, but here is a fairy mound so you can see the habitat.
We made these mounds from the soil dug out of the pond and let the grass grow long on them. Our much missed Robbie spent his last summer sunning himself in the long grass and the flowers:
The bees have been buzzing in and out of the fairy mound all summer and I’ve been leaving it alone to let them get on with their beeish business. Today I noticed that something had almost completely dug out the nest – I don’t think it was our new cat, Bella, but something bigger – maybe a fox?. We do have foxes.The Bumblebee Conservation Trust says that badgers sometimes do this but it seems unlikely that we have badgers in our suburban garden. There are still bees buzzing around but I’ll watch out to see if they stay. Anyway, I’ve covered the site with twigs and branches to try and protect it, though it may be too late for this colony. While I was looking up information on bumble bee nests, I found the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s ‘Bee Kind’ survey. This allows you to tick off all the bee-friendly flowers in your garden and get a score for bee-friendliness. Happily my score was in the ‘excellent’ bracket so that was nice. At least I’m providing lots of nectar and pollen for the bees even if I do have predators destroying all their hard work. Maybe I should have put up a notice, like this one that I found in the Botanic Gardens