antiquesdave's picture

Bee Behavior

Observed: 26th June 2011 By: antiquesdave

I have a bees nest under the decking in my back garden. The bees enter and exit in a small crack between the decking and a concrete wall. For the last two days two much larger bees have spent most of the day trying to enter the nest but they cannot fit down the crack. This does not seem to deter them and they just keep trying and trying. The regular bees just keep coming and going as normal, often climbing over the two intruders. Further to these oservations, I saw a third "large" bee arive. It seemed to have a "converation" with one of the bees trying to get in and they both flew off together leaving the other bee to keep trying alone.
I do not know about the different species of bumble bees and do not know if you get different sized bees in the same nest. I hope someone can explain this odd behaviour.
P.S. the poor photo is a still from a video of the behavior which I can make available if required I tried to capture the difference between the resident bees and the intruders

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) interacts


antiquesdave's picture

Bee Behavior

Can you explain why newly emerged queens would spend so much time and effort trying to get back in the nest and do they emerge smaller then grow so they cannot fit back in. Are the males not smaller than the queen as the the third bee which appeared was the same size. Another queen perhaps?

anonymous spotter's picture

Bee Havior

Could be a dark form of B.Campestris (Cuckoo Bee)and although numbers are low this particular
species/variant are widespread throughout UK

Syrphus's picture

>Could be a dark form of

>Could be a dark form of B.Campestris<.

Not unless it is at the wrong nest. The host of campestris is B. pascuorum, and that is not what the small bee is. The big ones are typical dark-collared queens of terrestris in my view.



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