Cool it

It was a cool day today and we woke with great expectation, wondering what had happened to BB14 overnight in our box. At 8.30am we checked on the box camera - no sign of movement or sound. And outside was about 9 or 10 degrees. We felt it safe to assume she was still in there from the previous night, especially since we've seen other bumbles emerge from the box at 10.30 once the sun is warming up.

To cut a long story short, we didn't see her all day! This left us in a bit of quandary - had she slipped out before we even got up? Did we miss her leaving (to be fair, we couldn't monitor the camera non-stop)? Or was she still in there? The bottom line is, we don't know. 

I'll admit to being rather frustrated - especially with the poor visibilty from the camera caused by the grasses in front of the box (and the cloudier day). I've been itching to get my hands on the new camera tech which has really good built-in infra-red lighting. 

Joy of Joy - the postman knocked and it arrived!

"Spycam" with infrared for use in the nestboxSome quick tests showed this was going to be a very good solution and I'm itching to get it in the nest box. In fact, I've decided to order another so I have one for each box. And instead of replacing the camera in the main box, I will simply add this one as well, so that we have two views inside the box. That'll be fantastic if we get a nest! (Though I'm now seriously considering the need for a vision mixer of some kind).

The coolness and cloudiness of the day led us to decide not to go bee-catching today; it never rose much above 12 degrees. So great excitment ensued when we spotted a bufftail mooching around the lavender by the front nestbox at lunchtime! Could it have been BB14? We don't know! And much as we would have loved her to, she didn't go into the box. Then again at 5.30pm we saw a bufftail again doing the same thing! (I'm becoming BSE - bee-spotter extraordinaire). But this bufftail also didn't discover or enter the nestbox; so again, we are left a little bit uncertain as to what is going on inside the nestbox tonight; we actually assume nothing. To be cautious we have left the main nestbox undisturbed, just in case BB14 is in there tonight. But if there is no sign again tomorrow, I will probably install the new camera in Box 2 and then swap them over.