Note: Folks, I heard from the author of two of the links below and he informed me that queen bumblebees nest in March and April (see the comments section below). I am glad I reposted this story but will have to wait till then to set my nest out. I can still work on it now to get it ready for next spring, though. — Jan
My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Last year, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!
How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest
How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest
Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams
How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to
Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types