FREE DELIVERY FOR ALL ORDERS OVER £50 (Excluding Bumblebee Colony Orders)

Live Bumblebee Colonies - Available To Pre-Order Now For Spring & Summer 2024


Delivery Date

Enjoy Live Bumblebees In Your Garden

Dragonfli's Bumblebee colonies have been updated this year and are now available as Natupol Smart Colonies. These colonies appear physically smaller than the previous Beepol colonies, which were of commercial sizing, but are now more suited for hobby and garden use.

The colony consists of Bombus terrestris audax Bumblebees which are UK native and known as the Buff-tailed Bumblebee. Each colony includes:

  • A Queen Bee
  • Worker Bees
  • Brood (Eggs, Larvae & Pupae)
  • A Sugar Water Food Supply (Housed Underneath The Colony)

Bumblebees are fantastic pollinators and wonderful to observe at work in, and around, the garden.

Bumblebees Improve Pollination In Plants & Crops, Bolstering Fruit & Vegetable Yields

Natupol Smart Bumblebee Colonies are a great help to growers with polythene tunnels and glasshouses. Plants located within these indoor environments will benefit from improved pollination. Fruit and vegetable yields, in plants such as Tomatoes, will be bolstered as a consequence.

How Do The Bees Work?

A simple trap door on the outside of the colony should be opened to release the bees. The worker bees will then orientate themselves as to where the colony is located. The workers will then start flying back and forth to the colony with their pollen loads to feed the young bee larvae inside.

Full instructions will be provided with the colony.

What Is The Life Cycle Of The Bumblebees?

After introduction of the hive, worker bumblebees will start pollinating the flowers and collecting pollen to feed the brood. More workers will emerge from the brood in the weeks after the introduction, increasing both colony size and pollination performance.

After some weeks the colony will reach its peak and start declining in size and pollination activity. Colony development depends on environmental conditions and the amount and quality of available pollen.

Once all activity has stopped inside the colony, it can be removed. A new colony can then be ordered to continue pollination, or pre-ordered to use for the following season.

How Do I Order?

These colonies are now available to order. Just click on your preferred delivery date and add it to your online basket. 

Bumblebee delivery dates are available between April - July 2024. Orders are delivered by the courier APC and there is a shipping charge of £10.75 per order. 

Full instructions will be provided with the colony.

Where Should I Place The Bees?

Previous Customers (That Own Our Timber Villas) Can Enjoy Housing Colonies

Our new Bumblebee Colonies will still fit inside our previously available custom Wooden Villas. Owners of these villas simply need to place the colony inside the structure, ensuring, if possible, that the colony lines up to the villa exit hole. Do not worry if you cannot achieve this as the Bumblebees will be able to map and navigate their way out of the villa anyway. Pull the white plastic sliding door upwards until it is removed to release the Bees. Please do not tinker with the placement of the colony once it has been set as this may confuse the Bees.

New Customers Can Place Colonies In Greenhouses, Glasshouses, Polytunnels Or Makeshift Shelters

If you are a new Bumblebee Colony customer and wish to place your colony outside, please ensure you have a requisite shelter available. Colonies are best stored in greenhouses, glasshouses and polytunnels; with plenty of access and proximity to flowering plants. Pull the white plastic sliding door upwards until it is removed to release the Bees. Please do not tinker with the placement of the colony once it has been set as this may confuse the Bees.

Once the Live Bumblebee Colony has been delivered and installed in your villa, the enjoyment of watching a live Bumblebee colony in action in your garden can begin!

What Are The Dimensions Of The Bee Colony?

 W 25cm x D 23.5cm x H 16cm

Use Our Wax Moth Killer Nematodes To Protect Bees From Wax Moth Infestations 

Should your colony be attacked by the natural pest, the Wax Moth, we strongly recommend that you purchase our Wax Moth Killer Nematodes which can be found here. These nematodes are deadly to the Wax Moth grubs but safe to the humans and wildlife. The nematodes enter the grubs via a natural opening, like the mouth, and feed on the contents of the grubs. A natural bacterium is produced by the nematodes inside the grubs, which kills it. Infected grubs will be completely broken down by the nematodes and will often turn brown. The nematodes also reproduce inside the grubs, releasing more nematodes into the surrounding area. Please only apply these nematodes when Wax Moth larvae are clearly visible.

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews Write a review

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews
50%
(9)
28%
(5)
22%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
Peter Richardson
Wax moth infestation

Had a severe wax moth infestation, nematodes had little to no effect. I've ended up buying a bee suit and gloves and every few days have had to dismantle the hive, remove the colony in its plastic container and wipe it with a damp cloth thoroughly clean out the hive and replenish the sugar water reservoir which was getting low.
Over the past couple of weeks I have destroyed well over 400 grubs, but now there are only a few on each clean

Nothing wrong with the bees, just plagued by wax moth. BTW, have made a wax moth trap from info on the Internet

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear that your colony was infested by Wax Moth this year. This naturally occurring pest can be a real plague for hive owners and there is sometimes little one can do in terms of combating them, often it is simply the luck of the draw so to speak as to whether hives will become infested or not. Our nematodes can be effective but indeed it can be a challenge to apply them directly onto the grubs and repeat applications would be required to challenge such a severe infestation as you have detailed. We would like to laud your efforts, however, in containing the grubs as best you could by physically removing them on identification. Your bees were fortunate to have you as their owner and we are glad to hear at least that you were happy with the quality of our bees. We hope you enjoyed having them despite the infestation you faced. Kind regards, Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]

L
Lauren M
Fascinating but.....

I was lucky enough to receive a Bee Villa and colony for my birthday last year and it was an absolute joy until I noticed my bees looking a bit bedraggled and less than normal activity. I couldn't open the lid and my partner had to prise it off with a screwdriver and we found that wax moth larvae had infested the roof space of the hive and sealed it shut with their concrete-like silk. The wax moth larvae had managed to take over the colony and destroy all but a handful of bees. I found this very distressing and felt like I'd let my bees down. I see there's a curative treatment on the website but wonder if there's anything preventative that I could try too? I really want to try again this year but the £80 cost and fear of another failure is deterring me.

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for your comments. Wax Moth is a horrible naturally occurring pest and there is currently no preventative cure unfortunately. We can offer a solution once the Wax Moth appears which is through an application of our Wax Moth Killer Nematodes. It is important to spot the infestation early for this method to work. The nematodes are entirely harmless to bees. It is also important to remove all signs of Wax Moth larvae and pupae prior to installing a new colony. This can be achieved with a good clean out, but look for Wax Moth larvae in the cracks and crevices as they are very good at hiding - a wire brush can help clean them off. I hope this helps to encourage you to give our lovely bees another go. Kind Regards, Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]

M
Mary
Lovely while they lasted

I loved seeing the bees buzzing in and out of their hive all day long. We had a lovely month watching them and then noticed that the hive activity was quieter than we were normally used to. Sadly, when we opened the lid of the hive, it had been taken over by wax moth caterpillars leaving nothing alive (and a lot of dead bees engulfed in silk.) A better information sheet provided with the bees on delivery would have been helpful as then I could have been aware that I needed to check for these grubs on a regular basis and then treat as necessary in order to hopefully prevent destruction of the colony and a very short lived experience

Hi Mary,
Thank you for your comments. We are preparing a new Beepol brochure and guideline booklet for next year, which will include updated information on how to counter the Wax Moth grubs. They are a horrible pest of Bee colonies but if caught early enough they can be stopped with a nematode treatment. Kind Regards, Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]

J
James
Lovely idea - but utterly inadequate care instructions

Much like the other posters, I had a lovely hive for a month.

Then I (and my bees) learned the hard way what wax moths were.

I have to say I'm rather surprised that Dragonfli don't even warn you that this may happen, particularly as they actually sell nematodes to help prevent it. Surely it should be a no-brainer to warn that moth infestation will happen and that the very people who sold you the bees in the first place also sell preventative measures?

I would love to buy a hive again for next year but based on the very poor experience I've had, I don't think I can justify spending another £80 for four weeks.

A real missed opportunity here to have had repeat business.

Hi James,
Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, the nematodes don't prevent the Wax Moth attack, but are to be used against the Wax Moth grubs if they appear. Not every colony gets attacked and it is difficult to predict which colonies will get attacked, although it is likely that a new attack will be repeated the year after the first infestation. We must strike a balance between warning customers of a possible attack and not discouraging purchases of our colonies. We do highlight this nematode treatment on the same page as the Beepol product, which you can see at the link at the bottom of the product listing. In light of your disappointment, however, please contact us and we will arrange a discount on your next colony, should you wish to try again. Kind regards, Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]

K
K C Chu
What D. R. said...

I would have to concur exactly what D. R. said... I had exactly the same situation... twice; in two successive years, almost half a decade apart.

(Perhaps, put them into the loft, instead, next time?!)

Hi there,
Thank you for your comments. Please see below reply to D.R, and our Wax Moth Killer Nematodes product listing (which is linked at the bottom of this Beepol colony page) for more information in how to treat potential Wax Moth infestations. Please note our colonies are not suitable for lofts! They should be placed in our wooden Beepol Villas in your garden. Kind regards, Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]