Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Wooden nest box occupancy by 16 bumblebee Bombus species near Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

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 intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Translocate bumblebee colonies in nest boxes Bee Conservation

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.

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees Bee Conservation

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.