The past few summers my gardens have been visited with by a growing number of Bumble Bees. For such a long time they were pretty much absent, but now it seems they have returned. This fall as I was cleaning up my flower beds I noticed swarms of them buzzing around a old birdhouse that I have sitting on a post in my garden.
As birdhouses goes, it is not much to look at, but it has some sentimental value to me because it was made by my son when he was about 9 yrs old, and it is made from re-claimed boards taken from my grandparents original homestead house.
I watched them circle the house for hours, and then I noticed that they were actually going in and out of the bird house as well.
Just last week I was finally reading my 2014 edition of The Prairie Gardener, and low and behold there was a lengthy article about bees. How to attract them to your garden, good bees vs bad bees - where they come from, where they live…
I was fascinated. As I read the article my mind kept returning to my Bumble Bees. What really made me sit up straight was the information about Bumble Bees nesting habits. The Queen overwinters and nests in the ground, or in mice nests, and even sometimes, but rarely, in abandoned bird houses!
Imagine my excitement! A couple of years ago there were a pair of finches making a nest in my birdhouse, but a neighbourhood cat became rather interested, so they moved on. I did not clean out the house, I just left the nest inside.
How brilliant! My laziness might just have created the perfect spot for a Queen to overwinter and restart her colony in the spring.
You wanna bet, I am going to be watching my birdhouse very carefully come spring.
In the meantime, I decided to dress up the house for her for Christmas. A little green garland, a little stocking and some pretty coloured lights at night… all fit for a Queen.
Rest well my little Bumble - if indeed you are in there….