Our first job this morning was to check on the Queen Common Carder we had overnight (BB25). BCW had nicknamed her HMS Bombus because on the infrared it looked like she had a lifejacket/life-ring on. As I've said before, we're easily amused. When we checked on her at 9am she had barely moved from her position overnight.
Over the next 50 minutes she stirred and stretched a little and towards the latter end of the period starting moving around the upper-right area of the box as viewed above. She appeared to be stretching and tugging on the fibres. We were, of course, very hopeful this was a demonstration of her "carding" behaviour, from which she gets her name. We like to think that if the queen demonstrates some of her nesting behaviour, then perhaps she is interested in the nest; or perhaps she is testing it out in some way. Here is a video of her cleaning, very kindly right in front of the main camera.
At about 10am she crawled out of the box tube and sat in the new entrance "foyer" we have created, which opens up like a funnel and is surround by grass. The temperature was alread approaching 24 degrees (probably due to reflections from the front wall of our house). She sat here very still for 10 mins and then took off. We watched with baited breath, wondering if this was the last we would see of her. She actually just lifted off by about 30cm and flew into the tall grasses on top of her nestbox and buried deep into the base of the stalks. We could see the grass twitching but not see BB25 herself.
Another 20 minutes passed by while she warmed up in the direct sun and then she took off. She didn't do any substantial circling, which would be used to landmark the location, so we assume that - despite her apparent interest inside the nestbox - she won't be back. So once again we start applying our grey matter to what might and might not have done the trick for her.