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Date: 20/07/19

Buzzed Off?

I'm very concerned about my bumblies.

You will recall that a couple of months back I had to deal with the nest of bumble bees which had expanded through the cavity in the back wall of the house and colonised the floorspace under my back bedroom.

Well, once I had blocked off all possible egresses from their nest save the one coming out around the overflow pipe outside, I could relax and enjoy standing in the back yard watching them zoom in and out.

That continued to be the case until about two weeks ago. Since that time...nothing. The only activity I have seen was one bee seemingly standing on guard at the nest entrance a week last Tuesday. That aside, zilch, even though there's a fuchsia bush getting firmly into full chat scarcely six feet from the house.

Has something unfortunate happened to them? Has some sickness or predator befallen the nest? Or is this part of the normal life-cycle for the creatures (as I've noticed that there is a sudden dearth of bumblies around the place generally of late)? Will they - having settled their domestic arrangements - re-emerge in the near future? Or are they done for the year and the new generation (and the survivors of the old) gone off elsewhere?

This last question is significant, because if they have - for one reason or another - abandoned the nest, I can get the Council in (that's the all-seeing, all-powerful lot who now want to charge us an extra 25 per year to empty our garden-waste bins) to come and mortar up the hole (and another, much larger, one around the sink outlet pipe); I'm not willing to do that unless I'm sure I'm not going to be walling them up like the inconvenient daughter of a mediæval nobleman.

Time will tell...