The humble bee: its life history and how to domesticate it


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

Action Link
Bee Conservation

Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

    Sladen (1912) placed 112 underground nest boxes for bumblebees in his garden near Dover, in Kent, England in 1910 and 1911. Boxes were buried cylinders of tin or terracotta, or holes in the ground with a wooden cover, and a 38-75 cm tunnel leading to them. They were occupied by six species of bumblebee, including the short-haired bumblebee Bombus subterraneus now extinct from Britain. Thriving colonies developed in 13-19% of nest sites provided.

  2. Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

    Sladen (1912) reared more than eight colonies of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris and one of the red-tailed bumblebee B. lapidarius by confining one or two nest searching queens with between two and seven workers of the same species in wooden boxes supplied with honey and pollen. In the case of the red-tailed bumblebee, the queen was also confined with clusters of cocoons from another nest.

Output references
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