Very active bee/wasp nest - 16 November 2014

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Anonymous (not verified)
Very active bee/wasp nest - 16 November 2014

I have an extremely active nest of wasps/bees in my garden, which seems unusual for this time of year. I would appreciate any help in what the possible species might be - whilst I have a keen interest in wildlife, I am completely new to the field of bees and wasps etc, so if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be great.

The nest has been active at least since the summer and is about a foot above the ground. It is buried in a very large pile of twigs which are contained by chicken wire (about 1 metre by 1.5 meter in area, and about 1.5 meter tall) situated in a remote corner of my wildlife garden.

The bees/wasps are small, and very fast flying. I have not caught any as yet.
thanks
Derek Flynn
16 November 2014

Ed Phillips
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Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Bee/Wasp Nest

You've posed a difficult problem there Derek, as you don't have photographs or a more detailed description. The date of the observation is useful in ruling out some species though. I'm a beginner myself and it is a difficult area to get into at first. There are lots of good resources online though, and the more you observe and read-up around the subject, the more fascinating it becomes. Do stick at it! Remember though, that there are many hundreds of species with lots looking very similar. It's not an easy area.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to make some suggestions on narrowing-down you observation. If they're still around, try to get a photograph.

colonus
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Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 02/04/2013 - 20:34
Hallo Derek, Ed. In mid

Hallo Derek, Ed.
In mid November it is most likely that this nest was a common social wasp (Vespula vulgaris, etc). This will be in terminal decline, but in a mild autumn a few nest persist till December. A less likely candidate is the bumblebee Bombus pascuorum. Again this will be in terminal decline and generally will have very few workers/males left. I saw my last B.pascuorum on 19 Nov. There is an outside chance this is a feral hive bee nest (Apis mellifera) but swarms usually set up a new colony in a hollow tree or building. Hive bees are still out foraging in mild conditions. It could just possibly be the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Again I would rule this out as B.terrestris usually nests in a hole in the ground. There are a few B.terrestris still around. I saw about 10 workers and 2 queens today in spite of cloudy damp weather.
Steve
22 Nov 2014
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