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Raising Bumblebees

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Hi All, 

Does anyone have any experience with bumblebees and raising their colonies? Also, how would you catch a queen? Any and all info would be helpful regarding the subject. 



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Are you interested in having honey, or just a colony?

I'm a bee keeper as well, but my knowledge is more from that side of things, getting honey, etc. rather than having them as a "pet" like an ant colony. 

Generally speaking, beekeeping associations are a good resource to get info and then if you want to keep bees it's good to fine someone local who can be a mentor. 

Here's the like to the Ohio State Beekeepers Association: https://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/

It's also a bit dated (1993), but I found these videos extremely helpful as well: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMne7FXm7S4X1hTXMal4VYtusCkf0Ag0g

Similar videos can be found on the beekeepers association site for more modern info (http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/beekeeping_class/), but it's always good to have multiple sources.

When it comes to queens/starting a colony, that's completely different from ants. You can actually swap out a queen yearly, and it is recommended to do so if you want good honey volumes. I guess bees just aren't as loyal as ants 😋. You also don't catch just a queen. In the wild, when the colony splits, one queen stays behind and one leaves taking half the bees with her. So you have to catch that swarm and then put it in your hives. For beginners, it's easiest to order a starting set of bees (usually 5 lbs of bees with a queen). Some beekeepers also let their hives split to either expand the amount of hives they have or give/sell them to local starting people. Another reason why it's important to find a local mentor.

I hope that helps a little, if you have more specific questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!

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Thanks, mainly just as a colony because bumblebees don't really make much honey. Thanks for all of the info!

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