Bumblebees rely on pollen and nectar from the plants and flowers in your garden and yard to survive. While they are more docile than wasps, many homeowners dislike having them in their space. They peak in the summer, are gone by the fall, and are essential for spreading the pollen in your garden.
How Do You Know If You Have a Bumble Bee Nest?
In the spring, you'll often see new queen bumble bees flying low to the ground and disappearing below the surface of the nest. She's looking for a place to build her bumblebee nest.
Bumble bees nests are hard to spot because they are so different from those of other bees. They are irregular in shape and not your typical honeycomb. They resemble clumps of eggs stuck together. Bumble bees bring their dead and old larvae to the entrance to prevent sickness from spreading.
Where Do Bumblebees Build Their Nests?
Bumble bees live in places like wall cavities, house parts, abandoned rodent holes, and tree cavities. The queen will begin building her nest with dry grass and similar materials.
How Do I Get Rid of a Bumble Bee Nest in the Ground?
The best thing to do if you have a nest of bumble bees in the ground is to leave it alone. This is the easiest method and the safest for you and the bumble bees.
If moving the nest is the only solution, plan where its placement before picking it up. Move it after dark when all the bees are inside, using a box or container to transport the hive.
For the best results, call an expert trained in bumble bee removal.
Will Bees Come Back to an Old Nest?
Bees do not reuse their old nests. However, a bumblebee queen may find and use another colony's old nesting site from the previous year. Bumble bees live in a new hive their single queen establishes in the early spring.
Are Ground Nesting Bees Harmful?
Ground nesting bees are not particularly harmful. They are also not very aggressive. They will react if threatened, but this is an extreme situation.
Many times, their presence can be beneficial to your yard. If you have plants growing in a garden or your yard, the bees will pollinate them.
If you are genuinely opposed to the presence of bumble bees in your yard, you can use bird boxes to remove them.
What Do I Do If I Find a Bumble Bee Nest?
The best thing to do if you find a nest of bumble bees on the site or in the ground is to leave it alone. Avoid breathing on it as this will agitate the bees into hostile behavior, and these bees may sting you as a defensive mechanism to protect their hive.
Bumble bees are typically not aggressive but will get defensive if they feel they are being attacked. They also do not have a swarm mentality. They can sting more than once, so it is advisable not to rile them up.
If the next is in an inconvenient location, you can move it. You will need a suitable bird nest box as well as wear protective clothing throughout the entire process. Wait until it is dark to move the nest site, as this is when most of the bees will be back in the nest.
Place the box in the new location, which should be close to the original. In the morning, remove the box so they can get out and explore the new nest entrance.
Occasionally, you will find nesting sites in locations that cannot be moved without killing the nest. You will have two options -- hire a professional to move the nest as they will have the experience necessary to do it without damaging the nest, or leave the nest where it's at. Bumble bees are not detrimental to property overall, and the hive will eventually die off, so you can remove it.
Another situation you may find is that your bumble bee nest entrance is not ideal. If they are coming and going from a spot that inconveniences you, divert their path in a different direction. They will quickly grasp the new way. This is the best solution if they are already in a suitable nesting site.
What Are Bumble Bee Hives Made Of?
Bumble bees nest are created not only in the ground but in various locations, including tussocky grass, abandoned rodent holes, compost piles, under piles of dead leaves, structure voids, and rock cavities. The physical nesting material comprises a few wax cells and honey pots holding the collected nectar for feeding.
Can You Buy A Bumblebee Hive?
Bumble bee hives can be purchased. They are typically sold for the pollination of crops. They have an expected lifespan of 4 to 5 weeks, which is not as long as a bumble bee nest in the wild.
How Are Honey Bees Different From Bumble Bees?
There are quite a few similarities between bumble bees and honey bees; however, they are two distinct species. While bumble bees are round, fuzzy, and all one piece, honey bees are smaller, thinner, and segmented.
Like honey bees, bumble bees belong to the Apidae family. However, the bumble bee belongs to the genus Bombus and the honeybees to the genus Apis.
Their habitats are also different. Honey bees are hyper-social insects with tens of thousands of hive members. They can survive the winter. The queen can survive for 3 to 4 years.
Bumble bee nests will not survive the winter. Instead, only the queens overwinter. They are also highly social insects like honey bees but have much smaller colonies of only several hundred members at the maximum.
What Bumble Bee Species Live in the Ground?
Many bumble bee species have nesting habits that still escape us today. They have also been impacted by the activities of humans in the nearby areas. One species known for living in the ground is the white-tailed bumble bee. With over 250 species to investigate, there is a lot to keep up with.
What Is the Structure of Bumble Bee Colonies?
Most bumble bee species live in a social setting called a bumble bee colony. The queen bee, female worker bees, and males are in this colony. Only annual, these colonies last for a year.
The queens overwinter and emerge in the spring from hibernating in the old nest to search for food. They must consume large amounts of honey to replenish their energy and fat stores. They will spend their first few days awake searching for the perfect location for their hive and plants for food sources.
Once the queens establish their hives, they lay eggs and produce worker bees. She will have her first brood, all female workers responsible for enlarging the nest, gathering food, and caring for the young.
When the eggs hatch, these newest members of the colony, the larvae, will feed on the pollen and nectar collected by the queen. Within six weeks, there will be enough workers in the colony to sustain the queen's life, and she will no longer need to leave the nest site.
They'll reach their peak of workers in mid to late summer, at which time they'll switch to making producers, continuing to brood. The queen will produce fertilized eggs to make workers and unfertilized eggs to make males. These will be the new queens and males.
Males have short lives and exist only to mate. The new queens will move on to form new colonies that fall. The colony will die off in the fall, leaving the queen alone for the winter.
When You Have a Bumblebee Nest Problem, Call an Expert
Don't hesitate to call a professional when you have a problem with bumblebee nests on your property. For the best results, reach out to A.N.T. Pest Control today!