pat's picture

bumble bees and badgers

the bumble bees seem to be disappearing while holes in the lawn are appearing,3-6 inches across and 1-4 inches deep,usualy a dozen or so holes in one area at a regular spaceing. is this badgers? after bee nests? could it impact on bee numbers? and most importantly if it is how can i protect bees? am thinking of puting peanut butter sandwiches out for badger.



Amadan's picture

Badgers and Bees

I've frequently found ground nests (usually wasps) raided, almost certainly, by badgers. Few other animals have the power and sheer persistence, I think!
It is usually a sign that the main food source (earthworms) is scarce. The incredibly wet weather last year, followed by a hard winter, has dramatically reduced the numbers of soil-dwelling invertebrates; and badgers are not the only ones suffering.
Yes, this raiding can impact on bee numbers, but just how significantly is not something I can answer, perhaps others might. Perhaps the proposed badger culls might be some relief to the bee populations.
Personally, I'd put out peanuts (or peanut butter sandwiches if you like, but my wife might sneak out and pinch them!), since I am unconvinced of the "science" behind the proposed culling.

pat's picture

badgers and bees

i did think twice before putting question up as i'm definately anti cull. but am very worried about bees as we had so many earlier in the year, i have just found a sick one, as i could see a parasite on it that i took to be a mite i tried to pull it off. it was a very long worm and the bee seems to be dying on the kitchen table.

Amadan's picture

Bumble Bees

Are apparently very prone to parasites, so this isn't unusual. All animals that live in groups are more vulnerable, as it is easy for the parasites to spread from one to another.
You're right to be worried about bees, though: I have my doubts as to whether the ban on neonicotinoids has come in time, or if it will be effective. (The pesticide most commonly used by the ungodly in raptor bait has been banned for years, buy is clearly still available.) Nor, it seems likely, is this the only factor in bee decline - but I don't know enough to pontificate here!