Bees keep getting trapped in the skylight / sky lantern, what can I do about it?
Below I describe a method to create a simple temporary barrier to prevent this happening.
I received this query from Liz in the UK:
If you have a similar situation, then yes, upon entering the the house, they realize there is nothing in the house for them! The bees then search for an exit, and the skylight attracts them. Unfortunately, they find there is no escape, and they die of exhaustion because they cannot get out.
As a temporary measure, you could use cling film, and if you have a wide enough roll, it may serve your purposes absolutely fine for the duration of the summer. Create a barrier using the cling film to stop the bumble bees going in to the 'hollow' created by the sky lantern in the first place, and getting stuck there.
Doing this will ensure you benefit from the light coming through, whilst preventing the occassional bumble bee from entering the lantern area and getting trapped.
I think this is the most cost effective solution, and temporary too, as well as being quick.
Alternatively, you could pin or tape a piece of net curtaining if you have anything you feel is nice enough, or even transparent plastic wrapping of the type you see in floristry shops for wrapping cut flowers.
If bumble bees are attracted to entering your home, they may be seeking nest sites. Some of them may be queen bumble bees (although by no means all).
Queens typically search out shaded spots, and from the outside, to a bumble bee the interior of a home can look promising. It's the reason queens fly into windows so often. To prevent them entering your home whilst enabling you to keep the door open, you could try a simple solution, again using net curtaining or a pretty fly curtain or screen - there are actually some attractive ones out there these days. (They may still enter via open windows, but hopefully not so many).
I hope this helps!