Where can I get bumble bee starter boxes?

The plans for our starter box are here.

If enough people are interested, it may become worth the time and $ to make a batch of the boxes we describe in the book and have them available for purchase. Otherwise, there is ample opportunity to experiment with your own designs.

How can I break diapause and get a queen to start a colony at any time of year?

Some queens need nothing more than a nice warm room, a shelter, and some food to start laying eggs. Other queens may need a booster such as carbon dioxide narcosis to stimulate them to start laying eggs. There is much variability between different bumble bee species in their reactions to being brought out of diapause.

If success rates to start nests are so low, how do naturaly nesting bumble bees survive?

There is very little known about colony founding success rates of naturally nesting bumble bees. Bumble bees face a great many challenges to their survival. However, when colonies are succesful they are capable of producing large numbers of queens and males. Somehow, they manage to beat the odds and do survive. However, bumble bee populations do flutuate widely from year to year.

Are bumble bees affected by colony collapse disorder?umble

CCD is specific to honey bees. However, bumble bees are affected by some of the same possible triggers, such as pesticide exposure and the narrow nutritional options available with large agricultural monocultures. However, diseases that affect honey bees have not been shown to affect bumble bees.

Coincidentally, there are several species of bumble bees whose populations have crashed in recent years. The cause of these crashes in still being investigated. Visit www.xerces.org/bumblebees for more information and to find out what you can do to help.