FREE delivery on orders over $42
Bumble bees usually do not bore into woods or objects, unlike the carpenter bees. However, they tend to live in underground holes or empty rodent burrows.
March 8, 2022
17 min read time
This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.
All external links are non-affiliated and for informational purposes only
Bumble bees are among the various types of bees to exist and, like most bees, are resourceful. While they are highly useful, they may also cause nuisances when they invade your property.
As such, you need toget rid of them to prevent them from possibly harming you.
This article will focus on how to get rid of bumble bees.
But, first, let’s take a look at bumble bees, how to differentiate them from other similar bees, their habitats, and other important facts about them.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Bumblebees are insects of the order Hymenoptera, where ants and wasps belong. There are about 250 species of bumble bees, including the Common Eastern Bumble Bee, the American Bumblebee, and the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.
These bee species are large, round, and fuzzy and appear in a black, yellow, and white combination.
Their bodies are classified into three major parts, like all insects: the head, thorax, and abdomen. There are two antennae on their heads, and the wings and legs attach to the thorax.
Bumblebees have bristles on their legs. The females have a corbicula (pollen basket) on their hind legs to transport pollen back to the bumble bee nest.
Like many other bees, they are classified into queens, worker bees, and males.
The queen bee, worker bees are females and can be distinguished by size, as the queens tend to be larger. The males have more antennal and abdominal segments with slimmer legs than the females.
Bumblebees are social insects as they form a colony with the queen bee in charge of reproduction.
The worker bees are responsible for sourcing food, enlarging the nests, and defending them. The males mate with the queen bee. The queen bee sources a suitable place to build a nest after hibernating during winter.
During summer and fall, the bumblebees are active and busy with foraging and pollinating. Future queens and males are produced in autumn, and then they head out to search for mates. They leave the nest at dawn to return late in the evening.
A bumble bee can actively thermoregulate due to its exposure to cold from being active all day in autumn and the cold months like February and November.
Unlike most insects, bumblebees can shiver, which allows them to produce heat in their thorax.
The heat helps them to fly even when the temperature is low. This action makes them the bee species that pollinate flowers and plants in cold weather conditions.
Bumblebees may be mistaken for other popular bees like the honey bees and the carpenter bees.
However, they are not the same.
A honey bee is significantly different from a bumble bee, especially in its physical features.
Honey bees are less rotund, smaller, and less fuzzy than bumblebees. Honey bees can only sting once, which results in their deaths, while bumble bees can sting multiple times.
As a result, a bumblebee colony can grow to a few hundred compared to many honey bee hives.
Carpenter bees have more resemblance to bumblebees due to their roundness.
However, carpenter bees have shiny and smooth abdomen rather than the fuzzy ones of bumblebees. Also, their abdomens are fully black in contrast to the yellow and black combination of the bumblebees’ own.
The female carpenter bee lacks the corbicula, which is present in a female bumblebee. The female carpenter bee also builds a nest in tunnels by drilling in wood. This action is what makes carpenter bees a significant pest, as they can cause structural damages to your house.
A bumble bee is of significant economic value as it pollinates many of the food crops we consume and flowers we enjoy in the garden.
The various bumble bee species are diverse in their probosci’s lengths leading to a wide range of pollination of plants and flowers. They are more crucial to pollination than honey bees.
Bumble bees are active earlier and later in the day and year than other bee species and pollinate farther in the year than others. The bees can pollinate in rainy, cloudy, or cool weather conditions when others cannot fly.
Another significant benefit of the bumble bee is pollinating some flowers and plants, e.g., potatoes, that other insects cannot.
You will generally find most bumble bee nests in dark, dry, and enclosed spaces. You may also find the nests above the ground in tree hollows and some in underground cavities like abandoned holes.
The bee queen finds a suitable area to build a bumble bee nest after emerging from hibernation after winter. And she lines it with grass, moss, or fur to shield it against rodent attacks.
That said, bumble bees do not nest in an area that gets a lot of sunlight as it will heat the nest to dangerously hot levels.
Here are examples of areas you can find a bumble bee nest:
One of the major questions homeowners ask is how to get rid of bumble bees in homes. This is because having a bumble bee nest around your home can be both a blessing and a curse.
While the bee is beneficial in promoting pollination, it can be dangerous if it sets up a nest in traffic areas in your house.
Despite being docile, bumblebee stings when provoked and multiple times at that.
As such, even though many people tend to spare these endangered species when they first invade their homes, leaving them could be risky in the long run. Thus, the need to get rid of bumblebees. And we will show you how to do it soon.
When you discover loud buzzing in your place of comfort, including your home, yard, garden, or on your property, this is a signal of a bee problem. Their buzzing signifies that an insect notably a bumblebee is nearby and probably under your nose.
If you look closely, you will find a nest around the area. When you discover the bumble bee nest, that’s the time to swing into action to get rid of bumble bees around your house.
Here are common methods of getting rid of bumble bee around your house:
If the bee nest is in an unwanted place but wants to preserve it, the best way is to relocate it to another habitat.
Bees nesting above the grounds in birdboxes is the easiest to relocate. However, the same cannot be said about those nesting underground which is difficult to relocate.
While relocation is one of the best methods to get rid of bumble bees and their nests, it is quite risky. If it is not done with caution, you may become a victim of multiple bee stinging.
This begs the question, how do you relocate bumble bee nest safely?
It is quite simple.
First, transfer the nest into a box. Plug the entrance and other openings on the box before you transport it. Ensure that you wear protective clothing and carry the box evenly.
The best time to relocate the nest is after dark and with a dimmed light source. Be careful not to breathe on the nest as the bees can detect human breath when transporting the nest.
If you want to relocate the nest but cannot do so yourself, you can ask a beekeeper to help with the relocation.
Some substances irritate bees and keep them away from surrounding areas with their smell or fragrance. These substances are called bee repellent and are usually natural substances; hence, their name.
Citrus, cinnamon, clove, garlic are some of the most potent natural substances that repel bees. You can sprinkle them around your garden and home to get rid of the bumble bee.
Essential oils are also natural insect repellent.
When you spray the oil in the yard, garden, or your home, the smell sends bees away and repels them for as long as the smell exists.
You can mix the oil with water and put it in a spray bottle to spray drier vents and house walls with bee nests. It is best to repeat the process continually for a week for a lasting effect.
Examples of essential oils include:
Marigold flower also repels and ward off bees in the garden when planted among plants and flowers. As such, they make for an excellent natural repelled to get rid of the bumble bee.
Vinegar mixed in water and applied from a spraying bottle is one of the bee control methods that answer how to get rid of bumble bees.
When you spray it on a bumblebee nest, it suffocates the insects when it gets on their skins. The more vinegar proportion compared to water, the more the mixture’s potency.
Mind you; a strong solution is necessary to kill and eventually eliminate bumble bees.
Usually, a 1:1 vinegar to water mixture is recommended to eliminate bumble bees’ nests and their bee colonies. And here is how to get rid of bumble bees using vinegar solution.
Into a spray bottle, pour the mixture and spray on the nest and the surrounding area to repel the bees from re-infestation.
Wear protective clothing and carry out this action at night when the bumblebees are resting to prevent them from attacking you. If you are perplexed about getting rid of bumble bees, applying vinegar spray is the right answer.
When the bumble bee infestation gets out of hand, it is time to kill the bees as no relocation or repelling can work here. In this case, you will need to contact a bumble bee control company and seek their service.
The bumble bee control companies have professionals and experts with substantial knowledge of getting rid of bumblebees around a person’s property.
Before you contact the company, you should inquire to ensure that you get your money’s worth as it’s no small change. You may need to vacate your home with your family for a few days for the bee control activities.
Killing is one of the lethal methods to get rid of bumble bees and may not seem ethical considering bumble bees are a potentially endangered species. Thus, this control method is usually the last option on how to get rid of bumble bees.
Bumble bees, are naturally docile and not aggressive until they are provoked. Often, the males would not attack you. However, the females will attack when provoked to protect themselves and their offspring. Don’t forget that bumblebee could sting multiple times. And it passes its venoms into its victims and predators through its stinger.
While other insects sting multiple times like wasps and hornets to hunt and harm their prey, bumblebees only sting for defense purposes. However, unlike wasps, bumblebees’ stings are less painful and result in fewer consequences.
On the other hand, Wasps venoms can make one go into shock and lose consciousness if not treated immediately. Common reactions from a bumble bee sting include swelling, redness, and potential itching, up to a few hours.
Keep in mind that bumblebees stings are dangerous to those sensitive to bee venoms or generally allergic to bees and other insects. As such, a bumble bee sting may become fatal to people with bee sting allergies. When a person allergic to bee stings or venoms in general encounters a bumble bee and eventually gets stung, it may result in anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction characterized by a series of events in response to the venom of the bees. These events include hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, shock, loss of consciousness, and eventual death in delayed treatment or extreme reaction.
People who have been stung by bumble bees, other bees, or other nasty insects have a high chance of developing sensitivity to bee stings.
Suppose you have anyone in your family allergic to bee stings or insects, then it is best to be wary of bumble bee colonies and other insect nests. It would be best if you got rid of them before they become a huge problem.
Ideally, bumble bees are attracted to a place that provides shelter and abundant food sources. The queen bee has to find shadowed areas to create their nests to feel safe with her colony.
Hence, the queen bee usually attracts birdhouses, abandoned rodent holes, cracks and crevices, hollowed trees, and underground openings.
Since bumble bees are herbivores that feed on the nectar and pollen of plants, you will always find them in any garden with lots of beautiful flowers and many green plants.
Like most bees, they feed on sweet substances; hence, they are also attracted to fruits, soda, and juice. The sweet smell of these substances attracts them, and they usually nest not far from areas where they can find such things.
Bumblebees also need water to survive; hence, they can be found around stagnant water or open water sources around your home.
Knowing what attracts bumble bees to your property can serve as good information to develop preventive tips.
Here are a few ways to prevent bumble bees from invading your property or nesting in your garden and yards:
Bumble bees usually do not bore into woods or objects, unlike the carpenter bees. However, they tend to live in underground holes or empty rodent burrows.
For the bees to set up nests in these locations, they may need to excavate the underground cavities leading to their boring activities as they want to go as deep as possible.
While the process is somewhat different from the typical boring into woods or other objects, the more the bees set up their nests in underground spaces, the more the surrounding areas become weak and infested.
So, always inspect underground holes for any signs of bumble bees’ activities. This is typically evidenced by buzzing sounds or sightings of the bees. When you’ve discovered the presence of a bumble bee in underground areas on your property, the next step is getting rid of them.
The following are ways to get rid of boring bumble bees:
Soapy water is commonly used to eliminate insects as it coats their bodies and prevents them from flying leading to suffocation.
You should apply the soapy water directly to the bees for an optimum effect. Mint naturally repels bumble bees, so a mixture of soapy water and mint kills the bees underground. It then ensures the place is inhabitable for re-infestation as the smell of the mint lingers in the hole for a long time.
You can substitute the soap for vinegar if available as it has a similar effect as soapy water. For maximum effect, you can make a mixture of 1:1 of vinegar and water. You may also substitute vinegar for peppermint oil because of its strong smell.
It is best to carry out this process after dark when the bees rest to avoid an attack.
For precautions, ensure you use protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, goggles, bee hats, closed-toe shoes, etcetera.
There are many endangered species of the bumble bees, and even when the goal is to get rid of them, you can do so without killing them.
With the use of bee repelling substances, you can get rid of boring bumble bees, though it may prove ineffective. Cinnamon, peppermint oil, and garlic can be mixed with water and poured into a spray bottle to naturally repel bees.
You can also spray the mixture into the hole and at the entrance to kick the bumble bees out of the ground and prevent them from re-infesting.
Bumble bees nesting in the grounds can be quite dangerous if the area has multiples nests. Since a colony accommodates about forty to fifty bumble bees, having tens of colonies is risky underground.
Suppose you hear frequent and heavy buzzing spread across underneath the ground of a certain area. In that case, it’s time to swing into action and get rid of bumble bees as soon as possible. With insecticides, you can do this swiftly and effectively.
Insecticide dust is good for bumble bees’ ground nests because of the residue they leave behind. The dust will remain on the ground long after the bees have been killed and prevent re-infestation.
Applying insecticides in a large enclosed area is an effective answer to getting rid of bumble bees, but it can be equally dangerous. Hence, ensure you do it after dark, when the bees are resting, and with protective clothing.
It is best to ensure that children and pets and any belongings or toys are as far from the area as possible before carrying out this action.
Getting rid of bumble bees on your own can be quite daunting, terrifying, and even ineffective, especially when you are frightened or afraid of the consequences if things go wrong.
But it’s okay because you don’t have to do it yourself as there are experts that understand how to get rid of bumble bees. The professionals specializing in eliminating bumble bees also come in handy when it is difficult to locate the bumblebee nest or have an allergy to bee venoms or stings.
These professionals will get rid of the bumble bees with their adequate and certified knowledge, years of experience, appropriate equipment, setup, and heavy-duty protective clothing.
It is done at a monetary cost, and home/property visitation will carry out their tasks. Pest control companies and beekeepers are the professionals to seek when eliminating ground-nesting bumble bees.
Also, with pest control companies, the bumble bees are most likely killed with insecticides or other potent chemicals.
In contrast, beekeepers are most likely to preserve the nest and relocate the bees to other appropriate areas without killing them.
However, this depends on the accessibility of the nests since they are buried underground. Depending on your intentions towards the bees, you can decide on which professionals to hire.
When hiring professionals, ensure you look into their background and credibility and make inquiries before making any decision. People around you may recommend your local pest control service or beekeepers. As long as their reviews are positive, then it’s all good to contact them.
Bumble bees are usually docile and avoid humans and animals but can become dangerous when provoked.
In this article, we looked into bumble bees and how they can be dangerous despite being beneficial.
Additionally, the article touched on how to get rid of bumble bees from your property, the things they are attracted to, and ways to prevent infestation of your property.
We hope you enjoyed reading it.
Join over 10,000 happy subscribers and never miss out on future deals
Get advice from the pest professionals near you.
Chat with people and share your best tips and tricks.
Register as a Thanos ambassador to earn referral fees.