The location of this nest is on a large estate in the UK with over ninety noteable, veteran and ancient oaks.
Due to a fallen tree that contained a bee nest we suspected there might be other colonies on the estate. On this day, my friends Paul and Ingo helped me look for other nests.
The nest section in the fallen tree had been cut out to form a log hive and placed near a large pond - it has survived many years. By the the log hive you find many bees fetching water. Tracing around the pond we found another cluster of bees. Suspecting this represented another nest, we followed a perpendicular line from the edge of the pond back into the estate and searched the trees on this path. We know the bees will use the shortest path to their water source; they will not fly to the other side of the pond to gather water, and the bees will always gather water from the closest reliable source of water.
While looking, a bee landed on my hand (they often do this near their nest). It flew around me and landed on my hand twice more before flying to an oak tree just 10 metres from where I stood. The oak tree was on the line from the pond.
Searching the tree we quickly found the nest.
We suspect there are other nests in the trees at Orchardleigh and we will use this water bee lining method to find them as unlike bee lining boxes it separates the bees from individual nest sites.
3 May 2022
Total reported by Jonathan is 8