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Re: [beemonitoring] Early spring bumble bee emergence

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  • David Inouye
    I m guessing that the queens start out with a reservoir of fat (or similar resources) from last summer, which will keep them going for a while when they are
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 15, 2012
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      I'm guessing that the queens start out with a reservoir of fat (or
      similar resources) from last summer, which will keep them going for a
      while when they are nest searching and looking for the first flowers.
      I don't think they usually nest where they overwintered, but don't
      know whether they tend to spend the night in any particular place
      during the interval between emerging after the winter and
      establishing a nest.

      David Inouye

      At 06:14 PM 3/15/2012, you wrote:
      >
      >
      >Question for the group. I noted my first bumble bee zooming by
      >today, but there is nothing blooming as yet in this part of town.
      >Night temps are at or below freezing and days have been in high 30s
      >to low 40s. Will queen bumble bees emerge on warm sunny days and
      >survive without a food source? It seems that such an energy
      >committment would require food to suppport foraging or nest finding
      >trips. Also, will the queen return to her burrow as the day ends?
      >Any thoughts on this appreciated.
      >
      >Deborah Rudis
      >U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
      >Juneau, AK
    • deborah_rudis@fws.gov
      Thanks for the thoughts on the early spring emergence. We have ~ 90% coniferous forest, no maples (except some planted as ornamentals) nor other early
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 16, 2012
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        Thanks for the thoughts on the early spring emergence. We have ~ 90% coniferous forest, no maples (except some planted as ornamentals) nor other early blooming trees. Blueberries are a major understory species and will bloom in a few weeks. They are a primary bee food source. Cottonwood flowers here a few weeks later. As we received about 2" new snow last night I do not expect we will see the bumble bees back out for awhile.

        -deb

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Deborah D. Rudis
        Environmental Contaminants Biologist
        US Fish & Wildlife Service
        Ecological Services Field Office
        3000 Vintage Blvd. #201
        Juneau, Alaska 99801

        907/780-1183 fax 907/586-7099 c 907/723-9981
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.' John Muir

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