Housing Bumble Bees
There are over two dozen species of bumble bee in western North America, many of them undergoing declines in population and in geographic range. Nesting female bumble bees start looking for dry sites to build their nests in the spring, often using abandoned mouse holes in the ground or tussocks of dry grass. Property owners can help reverse the trend by providing wood nesting boxes.
For more information on providing natural nesting sites and on constructing nesting boxes for bumble bees and other native bees, visit: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/nests_for_native_bees_fact_sheet_xerces_society.pdf
The “Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association” in the UK has posted a webpage with simple plans for a bumble bee nest box, at: http://www.cheshire-bka.co.uk/Bumblebees/BumblebeeNests.php
For more information on life history and identification of bumble bees in western North America, visit: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/Western_BB_guide.pdf