Do honey bees take over tree bee nests?

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Maizie N
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 23/07/2017 - 09:53
Do honey bees take over tree bee nests?

We have had a nest of tree bees in our compost heap. We were happy to leave them alone until they died out naturally and enjoyed observing them.

Having been on holiday for 2 weeks we have come home to a completely different type of bee activity. There are piles of dead bees clinging to, and lying around the compost bin but also a lot of activity during the day with bees coming and going into the compost bin. These look like honey bees. Is it possible that feral honey bees have taken over the nest? We are concerned about the level of activity so near the house and wondered what we should do about them. 


Adrian Knowles
Last seen: 2 years 1 day ago
Joined: 26/07/2012 - 12:10
Bees in compost


Are you sure these were Tree Bumblebees?  It would not be normal behaviour for them to nest in compost heaps.  However, the rather similar Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum) does.  Honeybees would not profit much from "taking over" the nest of a bumblebee - the size of a bumblebee nest is minute compared to that of a Honeybee and, again, a compost heap would be an unusual place for honeybees.


Ben hargreaves
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/05/2014 - 15:57
- and Common Carder-bee

- and Common Carder-bee workers can be v. small, around Honey-bee / Andrena size -



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