..Queen BB33 stayed here overnight.
I got the surprise of my life this morning when i wandered into the dining room and turned on the nestbox monitor, only to discover that our overnight guest (BB33) was still there!
The latest we'd had a bee stay in the box overnight was until 10.15 so we were amazed to see her there an hour later; especially on such a beautiful warm day (20 degrees C, clear blue sky). We'd fully expected her to have already left. Over the next 90 minutes she drank regularly from the honey water. I was quite amazed by this as not only has the honey-water been there unattended for quite some time now, but when I last looked it was down to half-level due to evaporation. So, I was surprised she could get anything from it. (We are quite keen to understand how much a bumblebee can drink in one sitting, and we haven't been able to find out yet).
In fact, she seemed to be rather enjoying it, so we started to wonder whether it had fermented a bit and turned to mead! We might have a tipsy bee on our hands!
Here's a video of her sticking her head right into the pen-lid in order to get some drink (which I think must be empty by now!)
We also took temperature measurements regularly from inside the box, now that we have a remote temperature sensor - wondering whether something would trigger her to come outside. To cut a long story short, she didn't come out all day, although she did retreat to her secret place off-camera for the duration, so we had to check on the audio every so often that we could hear activity.
I was convinced she must have drunk the entire supply of honey water so felt that the next time she wants to drink she will have to leave the box. So, we placed a small quantity of it right by the entrance of the nestbox as we can't get inside while she is in there. (This is something I want to consider for an improved box design - a way to supply fresh beverage to our guest without opening up the box; I have some ideas.) We also spread some pollen around the entrance to the box and on the lid. This will mean she can get supplies easily without going far, hopefully encouraging her to stay near/at the box.
We have since learned that there is some research that show bumbles are smart enough to go for nectar that is warmer, as this means there is less energy expended by them in heating up - so this is something we can consider in our drink-supplying strategy. It might also explain why she was very happy to take the honey-water from inside the box, which was at about 22 - 23 degrees C - i.e. warmer than outside.
We last heard a small buzz from her at 17:30 inside the box although have not seen her on the camera and to our knowledge have not seen her exit; so for the timebeing we assume she is still in the box and staying for a second night. This is a first for us!