Action group reassures residents about 'swarming' bees

A male Tree Bumblebee visiting flowers.

A male Tree Bumblebee visiting flowers.

First published in News

A WILDLIFE group is reassuring residents who are concerned about bumblebees swarming around their homes that they do no damage property.

The Stour Valley Wildlife Action Group has issued advice about the insects after receiving several calls from residents worried about the bees around their properties.

Phill Clayton, of the action group, said: "The Tree Bumblebee has a habit of nesting not just in trees, but also under roof tiles, in bird nest boxes and in holes in masonry.

"The species does not chew or damage property, it is often seen on garden flowers and is a great pollinator which frequently visits soft fruits like Raspberry and Strawberry flowers.

"Around June, male Tree Bumblebees start to emerge from the nests and congregate in what can be quite large numbers, flying around the entrance to the nests which are what people are seeing.

"These are waiting for the young queens to emerge and one will grab a queen as she leaves the nest and they go off and mate.

"Male Bumblebees are completely harmless as they have no sting so there is no danger from this apparent swarming."

He added many Bumblebee species are under pressure from the loss of flower rich habitat, pesticides and changing weather pattern.

"Gardeners can help provide an excellent alternative supply of nectar and pollen rich flowers with some sites where they can nest safely," he said.

For a list of Bumblebee friendly flowers, visit stourvalleywildlifeactiongroup.org.

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