Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

How have the bees been coping with the hot weather?

Tree bumblebee in the shade of a rosa rugosa

Tree bumblebee in the shade of a rosa rugosa

How have the bees been coping with the heat?

This is a question have been asked quite frequentl but quite a complex one to answer and I think it will take quite a lot of analysis and discussion with other colleagues before we have good answers. But, having said that, my impression is that the bumblebees numbers observed foraging have been down which is natural as they don’t like high temperatures but and I have also noticed a high number of very small bumblebee workers which may indicate that food was not making it to the far corners of their nests to feed all the young bees. However our honey bees have had the best season for many years with a reasonable crop of honey and no apparent mid-summer loss of queens.  As for the solitary bees, there are too many species who all have annual ups and downs to see any reliable pattern but I think the ‘mason’ bees (above ground nesters) did very well but the miners (ground nesting) less well.  Our heavy clay will have been very hard for digging in but I am not sure how the cope with that in a normal summer anyway.

I hope to have a better picture of all this once I get into our research analysis at the end of the year.

by rosi