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Northern_Lad

Bumbles in a compost heap

I have at least 2 bumble-bee nests in my compost heap, which is nice, but I'll want to use it at some point.

When would be best for me to do something, and what should that something be(e)?

I'd quite like to keep the bees, and my planting and lack of maintenance in areas was designed to attract them.
Tavascarow

If you can leave them alone till winter they will die out naturally.
They produce drones & fertile females in the late summer which go off to mate & the new mated queens find somewhere to hibernate for the winter before starting a new colony in the spring.
The remaining workers don't survive, as unlike honey bees they don't lay down stores to feed on through the winter.
Penny Outskirts

Wotcha NL Very Happy

Nice problem to have
Behemoth

He just uses us.

I had a similar experience and just left them alone until winter.
Mistress Rose

I agree with Tavascarow. They will die out over winter and then you can use the heap without disturbing them. They sometimes start the colony in old mouse nests, so look out for mice that have stayed put.

You can use parts of the heap that they are not in, but don't disturb the area around their entrance holes, as they get very disorientated if you do and can't find their way in.

We had this problem in the woods when badgers went for the bumble bee nests; lots of lost bees in the same area but unable to find the way in. The badgers also went for a hornets nest but we never did find who came off best in that encounter.
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