Managing colonies of bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for pollination purposes

  • Published source details Hobbs G.A., Nummi W.O. & Virostek J.F. (1962) Managing colonies of bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for pollination purposes. The Canadian Entomologist, 94, 1121-1132.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate bumblebee colonies in nest boxes

Action Link
Bee Conservation

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Translocate bumblebee colonies in nest boxes

    On seven occasions in spring 1960 and 1961, an unspecified number of colonies of long-tongued bumblebee species B. appositus, B. californicus and B. nevadensis were moved, overnight, up to six miles away just after the first brood of workers had emerged, in southern Alberta, Canada (Hobbs et al. 1962). An empty box with a one-way door was placed on the old site for two hours the following morning. On one occasion, half the workers from a colony of B. californicus were out when the colony was moved and captured in the trap. On the other six occasions, few workers were left behind. Several queens (at least eight) were killed after translocation by re-entering the wrong nest box. The authors recommend delaying translocation until the second brood has emerged and the queen no longer forages.

  2. Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

    A trial of 1,023 wooden nest boxes placed in grassland or woodland in southern Alberta, Canada (Hobbs et al. 1962) found an occupancy rate by bumblebees of 35% overall. Underground nest boxes were more often occupied (49%) than above ground (32%) or half-buried (36%) boxes.

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust