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009Aaa

Bombus impatiens nest

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Hello everyone. I just took some photos of my B. impatiens nest this morning.

 

I got this nest through a removal job back on July 21 2012. The colony was using and old chipmunk burrow in a ladys front yard. My guess is about 80 workers were present in the nest but I had to vacuum up 90% to complete the removal job. I got the wax cocoon cluster out with no trouble and the queen and about a dozen new workers were put into the shoe box with it. I also captured about 5 or 6 returning foragers with pollen on their legs and put those in the box. The box was sealed until after dark. I then opened a side of the box which you can see in the photos is now taped back over. The bees adapted well and the next day I observed foragers coming back with pollen on their legs. They chewed a new entry on the bottom side witch is also in the photos. It really slowed down the last couple weeks and now all I heard was a low buzz when I opened the box for photos. I never saw any males or new queens so I am not sure if any were produced.

 

Comment and enjoy!

 

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Edited by 009Aaa

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Update,

 

Today I opened the shoe box lid and tapped on the box. I heard a low buzzing. A queen poked out of the nest material and walked around on the nest inside the shoe box. I closed the lid. About 10 minutes later she walked out of the box and crawled around my patio. She walked on the shoe box but did not enter. This went on for about 15 minutes. She kind of stayed on a leaf on my patio. I then picked the leaf up with the queen and dropped it over the side of my patio wall. She never attempted to fly and may have been the foundress or a new queen. She was a bit bald on the thorax but not to a large extent. There is a photo on bugguide of a May impatiens queen that looked very similar. I moved aside all the nest material and there were no more bees left. There are about 7 dead workers in the shoe box. There was a small cocoon with some nectar or fluid in it that i assume this queen may have been drinking. The cocoons were all small except for three large cocoons (do all pots/cocoons contain brood initially?) that could have been queen cocoons or honey pots, I am not sure. There were no other live bees and that queen left the box on her own even though I did tap the box. Like I mentioned above she did not attempt to go back in the shoe box. So do you think it was the foundress or a new queen that was left over?

I will maybe take some new pics soon. There is I would guess just under 200 cocoons total and most are hatched with maybe 5% with small dead bees in them.

 

No workers returned to the nest today so I assume it is done.

Edited by 009Aaa

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New photos from today. I moved all the nest material aside. You will notice that some cocoons look to be unhatched near the top right. They are hatched but broke off the comb and are turned on their side.

 

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Edited by 009Aaa

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Hmmm. Hard to believe you didn't see any new queens in there. I am guessing that was probably the foundress that you saw. New queens would be bright and good looking, unless they are sick for some reason.

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