Bumble Bees

Bumble Bees
Size: 1 1/2"
Color: Black and Yellow stripe pattern
Habitat: High latitude and high altitude
Origin: Many species native to US
Questions & Answers : How to get rid of Bumble Bees (18)
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Bumble Bee Control

The Bombus psithyrus, commonly known as the bumble bee, is an insect of many that are found throughout the world, including the United States. Their common name may have been derived from their large and clumsy appearance or even simply, the loud buzzing tone they have when they busily fly around. Unlike carpenter bees, bumble bees do not nest in wooden structures, however, because they can sting, bumble bees in the house are a concern to some homeowners. Look no further than Pest Mall to the best methods and information on how to get rid of bumble bees.

Bumble Bee Identification

Knowing is half the battle. Before you think about how to get rid of bumble bees, you should be able to identify them first and know some information on their activity. Bumble bees are often times mistaken for carpenter bees and vice versa. Bumble bees range in size with adult worker bumble bees about 6-25mm and queen bees ranging in size from about 17mm to 25 mm. Both worker bees and queen bees are robust in form. They are symbolized by the colors black and yellow and have a fuzzy appearance. Even the top surface of the abdomen is fuzzy. Rarely, bumble bees are orange in color. Bumble bees are winged creatures and also possess a relatively smooth stinger.

Bumble Bee Nest

Bumble bees are very social and live in nests or colonies. In each colony, worker bees are sterile female bumble bees as well as males, which are known as drones. There are also several queen bumble bees present in one colony. In comparison to the nest of honey bees, bumble bee nests are less extensive. There are several reasons as to why bumble bee nests are not as large. First, just one female is responsible for the initial construction of the nest as well as the reproduction that happens inside the nest. Also, for most species of bumble bees, the nest or the colony is restricted to just one single season.

Mature bumble bee nests can be home to up to 50 bumble bees. Bumble bees can be spotted burrowing in the ground. Most bumble bees build their nests within the tunnels that are premade by other larger animals. Most bumble bee species do not utilize or preserve their nest through the winter. Typically, drones and queens will be the last generation to emerge during the summer and queens remain overwinter separately in certain protected spots. A queen bumble bee can live up to an entire year.

Bumble Bee Behavior

Bumble bees will travel as far as 1-2 km from their colonies just to forage for food sources. Typically, they will look for nectar and pollen from flowers. If one patch of flowers or one garden can continue to provide adequate amounts of both pollen and nectar, bumble bees will continue to return to the same patch every day. Bumble bees are able to use the color of flowers including spatial relationships to differentiate where they should and should not forage. Once the flower selection is complete, bumble bees are able to extract nectar and store it. For several different species of bumble bees, once they visit a flower, they will leave a scent mark on the flower. This scent discourages other bees from visiting the flower. They will also use this scent as a mark that informs them of which flower is beneficial or not. Moreover, bumblebees will use and rely on this natural scent when there is a high handling time of the flower. The handling time refers to the expected time for the bumble bee to find nectar. After they have finished collecting nectar and pollen from that flower, they will return to the nest to deposit the nectar and pollen into cells for storage. Each worker forages alone and bumble bees will never exchange food. Moreover, they will never harvest more than is needed. Only enough food is harvested to last for a few days. This is typically done so because it deters predators. However, this also means that bumble bees are much more vulnerable to food shortages.

How to Get Rid of Bumble Bees

Even though bumble bees are considered beneficial to the environment, they are potentially harmful because they possess stingers. Therefore, bumble bee control is necessary when bumble bee nests are close to or located in a residential area, an occupied structure or a recreational facility. Most bee species, including bumble bees, are more active during the day time and less active during the night. Therefore, the best time to try and apply a treatment to kill bumble bees will be during the night time. During the day is the best time to prepare your control strategy by first locating the source of your bumble bee problem, the bumble bee nest. By watching where they are disappearing into, whether it is in the ground, tall grass clumps or even on a structure, keep your eyes open and inspect for the mark. After the nest has been located, wear protective gear and use a dust insecticide or a liquid aerosol that labels bumble bees as a target pest to treat around the nest. Entrances to the nests should not be sealed until all noticed activity has decreased to a complete stop. Treatment may take a couple of tries. You will notice less and less activity around the nest as the days go by. You can re-apply the treatment every night. Treatment should only be done during the late afternoon hours to avoid bumble bee confrontation. For more information on how to get rid of bumble bees or more information on the correct products to do so, feel free to give us a call or email us so that we here at Pest Mall can better assist you.

Do You Have a Question about this Product? Ask Our Experts!


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Q. have bumble bees going under siding at base of blocks
A.   We recommend treating the base with Drion dust. Drion has a delay kill effect on insects that come into contact with the product. It also has a long residual of about 4-6 months.
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Q. I have bumblebees in a huge area of blue stone gravel rocks. I can see exactly a nest, what can I use to treat the entire area.
A.   If you can see a nest, it's best to treat the nest first. You should definitely wear the necessary protective gear and take caution when treating a nest. Fast knockdown wasp freeze is first used to kill the bees in the nest. By knocking them down, you can treat inside the nest with a dust like Delta Dust or you can treat with a liquid insecticide like FenvaStar EcoCap. Treat in the early mornings or late evening as that is the time that the bees are the least active.
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18
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Q. I am having trouble finding a bumble bee nest. Is there a product that will agitate bumble bees so that I can see where they are coming from?
Already tried delta dust in the general area without success.
A.   Unfortunately, we do not have a product of that nature. We do apologize that we are not able to better assist you.
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Q. I have a bees nest in the ground under my apple tree. Are there any products on the market i may use that is safe towrds my apple tree and still kill the bees. My concern is that any poison put in the ground may eventually make it into the apples.
A.   The only thing we can recommend is using Merit WP on the hive. However, it is recommended that you do not eat the fruits of the tree for about a year. remove hive
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15
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Q. Single bumble bee hanging around
I have one bumble bee hanging around my back steps for about 3 weeks now. I haven't seen any others, and can't see a nest....(s)he just keeps buzzing around. I tryed spraying it with a wasp-type spray, but it hasn't worked. What can I do?
A.   The only way to single out a bumble bee is to use a instant knock down spray. Wasp freeze sprays are particularly safe to use when treating for stinging and flying insects like bees because the distance that the jet spray will spray out is a safe distance away from stinging and flying insects. If you have ornamental flowers that produce pollen around your back steps, the bumble bee may be returning to those flowers to collect pollen. You may want to treat your ornamental flowers with a long residual insecticide like Lambdastar 9.7 or Fenvastar EcoCap.
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14
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Q. Is there any kind of spray you can use to kill the ones flying? I tried a wasp spray and they were not effected at all
A.   Please be more specific with the target pest so that we may better assist you.
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12
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Q. I have bumble bees drilling holes in the side of my house - Ive sprayed at night when they are less active but the next day they are all back - how do I get rid of them?
A.   You are actually infested with carpenter bees. We recommend hanging our carpenter bee traps around the active areas in order to catch the bees. You can also spray items such as Suspend SC as a surface treatment around the side of the house.
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12
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Q. bumblebees house foundation
I have a small hole in the base of the foundation where they have been flying in and out of. I cannot get inside the hole because it is too small. I could spraty something into it or apply a dust at the base of the entrance. Suggestions? I hate to kill them but want them out. Would moth balls help them leave? Thanks. Bev
A.   There is no way to repel bumble bees especially if they have already developed a nest in the premises. We suggest using Delta Dust in order to dust onto the area. Dusters such as the Bellow duster will help spread the product onto hard to reach surfaces.
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Q. bumble bee nest
I have bumble bees under my back steps at my home. I've tried sprays from the stores and they are not working. What would you recommend I purchase to get rid of them? They have holes that go under ground.
A.   I would highly recommend Delta Dust . Delta dust is a moisture proof dust and will continue to work for a long period of time. I would recommend that you do treatment with the dust after the sun goes down or before the sun rises because those are the times when the bees are less active.
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11
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Q. How do I get rid of bees in my lawn?
I have bees swarming in/on my lawn. I don't see any nest but they seem to be dying. They are not flying. They seem to be "struggling" in the grass and then dying on my driveway. Will they eventually die off or do I need to do something to get rid of them?
A.   If you have treated the perimeter of the house with a spray, then it will be affected by the active ingredient and eventually die. We recommend using instant knock-down jet spray. We have three available for purchase. They include PT Wasp Freeze Aerosol, Stingray Wasp and Hornet Jet Spray, and Nisus Fireback Wasp and Hornet Jet Spray. You can also treat around the perimeter of the house and do a regular pest control maintenance with a product like Talstar Pro or Suspend SC, which are concentrate products and must be diluted in water and sprayed with a pump sprayer. Suspend SC can also be sprayed on surfaces of the exterior of the house as well as ornamental plants. Neither of these products can be sprayed around fruit trees or vegetable gardens. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.
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