What to do if you find a hibernating bumblebee

People often find hibernating bumblebees in late winter or early spring, when they begin to work in their gardens again. The most common places to find them are in loose soil, banks of earth and occasionally in flower pots.

Hibernating bumblebees are all potential queen bees, which will hopefully go on to make nests in spring. Uncovering them can disturb them, and you might find them buzzing or shaking. If the bee isn’t too active, you can cover it up again using the material that had been hiding it. Cover the bumblebee up with the material as loosely as possible, so she can dig her way out when it is time to do so.

If the bee remains very active and won’t go back into hibernation, you can help her on her way by leaving her in a sheltered place to rest, such as under some leaf-litter. Don’t be tempted to keep the bee indoors, as bumblebees need to be outside to complete their lifecycles.

Before deciding whether or not a bumblebee is in need of rescue – here are three questions you should ask first.

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