The Mystery of the Dead Bee in tunnel F1

Queen yellow jacket photographed in a hurry.

Well, we have our first report of a tunnel being used, but it’s not quite what we expected. We got a message from one of our volunteers on April 6th that she had what was apparently a dead bee in her F1 tunnel. When she looked again a day later, the bee was in H1. Hmm. Funny for a dead bee to move around like that. Long story short, after some investigation with a bamboo skewer and a few good shakes of the block, she discovered a queen yellow jacket. Virginia suggests, “This is the stage that overwinters.  She was probably out and about back when it was warm, then hunkered down in the block until this storm passed and food (nectar) becomes available.  Once it gets warm again, she’ll leave the block and establish a colony in some hole in the ground.  She won’t be setting up shop in the Bee Block.”

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