Bumble Bee Question and Answer

Bumble Bee, Question and Answer


What do you use for bumblebees? -Alan, MD


Bumblebees are rarely a real problem, and serve far more benefit to a landscape or an environment than a hazard. With a little luck and some education of the customer perhaps they can understand that not all stinging insects need to be killed. Of course, there are always situations that call for their elimination, and if they are nesting within a structure then this may be one of those times. If there are excessive numbers of nests on a property and people may be interacting with the bees too frequently, then this could call for elimination of the nests. But, foraging bumblebees really don’t care a hoot about what’s going on around them as long as no one directly antagonizes the bee. I have often moved through vegetation where large numbers of bumblebees were working the flowers (moving carefully and slowly I admit) and have never had a bee act aggressively toward me. Preserving them is a good thing if possible.

But, get too close to their colony and they too, as social bees, may defend things with a sting. Bumblebees are opportunistic in their selection of places to have their colony. Their society is similar to that of honeybees, but with much smaller colonies. Any small void is satisfactory, including old bird houses, voids in walls, holes in the ground, old logs, etc. The control is most effective by searching for the nest itself and treating directly into it. A contact insecticide dust would be most effective, such as DeltaDust, Tempo Dust, Drione Dust, or possibly Apicide dust. Treating the nest opening directly minimizes any effect on other organisms outside the nest, and is the best way to contact the bees as them come and go. This really is your best and only option, because trying to control the bees while they are foraging is not effective, and there are no repellents to discourage them from being in an area if pollen is available.


Managing other food resources does need to be examined though, as the adult bees are drawn to sweet liquids, just as honeybees and yellowjackets are. If you have outside eating areas, such as picnic tables, where spills of sodas or syrups will be, these will draw bumblebees and bring them close to people. Sanitation and cleaning of such areas helps prevent the presence of the bees. If you have large populations of aphids or other honeydew-producing insects on trees or shrubs, this sweet material also may draw bumblebees. Sometimes scale insect problems on ornamental trees can produce copious amounts of honeydew on sidewalks and patios below the trees. Control the plant pests to eliminate the source and wash the surfaces to remove the honeydew and this will help too.

Mr. Pest Control

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Date: Thursday, 7. January 2010 9:58
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  1. 1

    Hello…i have large bumble bees that are very aggressive…i love to work in yard but they fly very close and even though i try to ignore them, i’m afraid they will sting me or my grandson…There is usually one that is relentless and no matter what i am doing it will fly directly towards us..Is there a product that can be set outside to repel them?

  2. 2

    Bumble bees can be very aggressive.
    Unfortunately, there’s nothing that will repel them.

    Bumble bees rarely cause problems, but if they are getting to close for comfort,
    you might want to use pesticides to eliminate them. We don’t really recommend
    that people kill bumble bees since bumble bees provide far more environmental and landscape benefits than harms.

    If it is a case that the nest is inside your property, you might want to remove the nest.
    You’ll want to apply in the evening, when they are at rest, to be sure that you have gotten all of them at once.
    If you spray during the day, it might agitate the bees and not all the bees might be in there.
    In that case, they will simply make another nest somewhere near the first one.

    When you treat the bee hive, make sure the entrance opening is facing away from you.
    If anyone is in the general direction of the opening, they will come out and sting.

    When treating the hive, we recommend that you pour Delta Dust into the opening of the hive (remember, you don’t want to face the opening. Stand on the other side of the hive)
    and after that, stand 6-15 ft away from the hive and spray the nest with Wasp-Freeze Aerosol until the nest is completely wet.

    If you don’t have the nest in your property and cannot locate it,
    or you do not wish to kill such environmentally friendly insect but simply kill the one aggressive one,
    you can just carry the Wasp-Freeze Aerosol and spray it directly at the bees where you are working.
    It will kill the bees on contact.

    Again, I personally wouldn’t treat for bumble bees. I came into contacts with them
    several times when providing pest controls outside of homes, and never had a problem.
    But I understand your concerns. I too get a bit nervous when they are around me.

    You can find more information on How to Get Rid of Bumble Bee

  3. 3

    I have carpenter bees on all the gables of the house. The bees are under the rake boards. Difficult to get powder into these areas, let alone plugs to seal the holes as you can’t see them. What would you recommend to eliminate the bees and keep them from coming back?

  4. 4

    Well, there really is no other proven way to get rid of carpenter bees except doing the dirty things.
    It does sound a bit dangerous, but unless you treat the infested area, these carpenter bees will
    continue to bother you.

    Another thing you can do is if the gable is only about 10 – 12 ft away from your height,
    you can use PT WASP FREEZE AEROSOL, which shoots the content up to 15 fts.

    However, you’ll need to cover up the hole with the plugs. The idea is to prevent future infestation in these areas.
    Any vacant hole is a perfect place for yet-another infestation. I would recommend going up on the ladders
    to treat the area.

  5. 5

    I have these wasp are are in my ground. I was told they are mud wasp. But…they don’t look like the picture on your website. The ones I have…have a black butt. I have tried everything! The more holes I pour stuff in…more holes are made by them. Do you have any products that will get rid of these pesky insects for good? Thank you for your time.

  6. 6

    A couple of days ago, I submitted a question about dealing with a bumble bee nest and I never got a response. Every time I checked the site, the remark was that the question was being reviewed or considered, or something to that effect but I never got an answer of any sort. Now my question has disappeared completely. uI will submit my general question again.

    I have a bumble bee nest in the root of a dead shrub that I was in the process of removing. I had no idea that the nest was there until I got strafed by a couple of bumble bees and then saw the spot to which they returned. I like bumble bees and would prefer not to kill them. Is there a way that I can convince them to move eventually? I am willing to wait until fall to remove the rest of the dead shrub stump if they will move on once the weather cools. Do they get more dormant in the evening or early morning? By occasionally distubing them will that give them the impetus to move?

  7. 7

    Hello Laurie,

    Sometimes Mud Wasps, or Mud Daubers, have black butts.
    The most fast and effective way I could think of to get rid of these pests is the Wasp Freeze Aerosol.
    You would have to apply this product during the evening or morning when the sun is not out, as the bees are diurnal.
    The Wasp Freeze Aerosol is a contact kill and the manufacturer guarantees that the Wasp Freeze will get rid of your pest.
    I hope that you do successfully get rid of your pest!

    If you have any more questions, comment me again! Thanks!

  8. 8

    Hello Ellen,

    I am sorry about that, there must’ve been an error in the webpage as I never received your comment.
    First of all, we would have to confirm that these pests are bumble bees and not carpenter bees.
    The two pests look very similar. If you see holes, about half an inch in diameter and a perfect circle, those could be carpenter bees.

    For both cases- bumble bees and carpenter bees, it is very hard to remove their nest. You might want to get a professional to come out and do it. They will hibernate through the winter and will not move. Even if you “bother” them, most likely they won’t leave their nesting areas. If they find a better area to nest in, they may move, but it is unlikely. A different method to get rid of them, is to actually get rid of them with a pesticide, but if you do not wish to do so, I would contact a professional to come and remove the nest.

    If there is any other way that I can assist you with this matter, please let me know.
    Good luck getting rid of their nest without hurting them!

  9. 9

    I have bumble bees that burrow into my patio over head structure. The wood is not painted and cypress wood. They make it impossible to seat and enjoy the patio because of their number. they will buzz around your head and actually hit you while fighting. Most company(ladies) don’t know that they don’t sting but really how can you enjoy anything like that. Is their any way to make them go some where else? Someone told me to paint the wood blue and plug their hole.

  10. 10

    Hello, those are actually carpenter bees. They nest in the wood and will dig tunnels into the wood. We have a kit available that our technicians have put together. The Carpenter Bee Control Kit includes a liquid insecticide that you can spray, a dust that you can put into the holes, plugs to cover the holes, and a duster. Carpenter bees actually favor unfinished wood because it is easy to bore inside the wood. You can always call us to ask us about any products that are good for carpenter bee control! I hope that helped you.

  11. 11

    We have a bee, which I thought was a bumble bee but is more black in color, which could still be a bumble bee as I am not familiar with different species; anyway, this bee is like a pet. It plays with our dog and acts like something I’ve never seen before. It will hover over me but will not land on me…. yet. We are planning to put our house up for sale and I really hate to leave “him” here. Is this common for bees to act this way. He is always around when we are outside and seems to really enjoy playing with our dog. As does out dog.

  12. 12

    Bees that are mostly black in color and look similar to the bumble bee would most likely be a carpenter bee. If you are planning to put your house up for sale then I highly recommend that you get the carpenter bee problem treated. Any holes bore by the carpenter bees could lead to potential water damages which would eventually lead to other problems in the future with other wood boring pests. Good luck (:

  13. 13

    One bumble bee insists on hovering over our patio dining table…suspended in space about two or three feet above. We removed everything from it like candles, flowers etc. and washed the table several times. It is spooky. What can we do?

    Maria over the bee

  14. 14

    For bees and wasps, we recommend a contact kill aerosol such as Stingray Wasp & Hornet spray. The formulation allows an instant knock down kill. Keep in mind that bees and wasps are aggressive in nature. The Stingray spray has been designed so that you can stand up to 20 ft away from the bee and still effect the insect.

  15. 15

    we have bumblebees hovering over our patio table and a spot close to the roof. They don’t seem to go in any where and we can’t find a nest. The other day we saw about 100 of them swarming a tree. Now we just have about 5 persistent ones. Why do they keep coming back to these two locations if we can’t locate a nest? They just hover and don’t bother any one, but we have kids and concerned they will sting….

  16. 16

    Hello Teffy! Bumblebees can either nest above ground or burrow into the ground to nest. You may want to consider getting a professional inspection done by a professional pest control management company. There may be an adequate food source around which encourages them to stick around. Unless you are aggressive with them, they will not attack people. Regardless, look into getting an inspection done so that the professionals can locate their nest for you.

  17. 17

    I have a bumble bee problem. they have already killed one dog and i have two more. i also have a 4 yr old and im afaid the they might attack her. these bees are hovering above the ground at the garden and on the porch ( just on the treated wood). what can i do to get rid of the bees. as to my dog, he was completely covered! had to spray him with bee spray to get them off of him so i could bery him. what can i do i need some help bad!!!!!!!

  18. 18

    I am very sorry to hear about your dog ): I hope that you, your dogs, and your child are still safe. In terms of treating bumble bees, the first thing you want to do is locate the bee nest. Once you have, use a dust insecticide such as Delta Dust (http://www.pestmall.com/delta-dust.html) to treat the nest. However, you only want to approach the nest before the sun rises or after the sun sets (when it is relatively dark) because the bees will be less active then. You also MUST wear protective clothing; you don’t want any additional accidents happening! Once you apply the dust, you can use an aerosol spray like Wasp Freeze (http://www.pestmall.com/pt-wasp-freeze-aerosol-spray.html) to kill any lingering bees around the nest (or any that you see that are in small numbers, for that matter). Eventually, bee activity should continue to die down until it finally stops completely. And when it does, you can dispose of the nest; I’m not sure about proper bumble bee nest disposal, so you’ll have to research that a bit. Good luck getting rid of the bumble bees! Please stay safe!

  19. 19

    My neighbors downstairs from me (I live in a condo) had a wall full of bees. They had to remove the wall and they killed the bees. My neighbor had to leave her home for 3 days. I was never told, I did see some bees but I thought they were getting in thru some opening in my window. They were using pesticides, I was at home when they sprayed, are the fumes dangerous to my health?

  20. 20

    It really depends on what type of insecticide they were using. If they were using a vapor or fumigant type of insecticide, there can be potential health risks involved. However, if they are using a spray or a dust type of insecticide, there should not be any problems.

  21. 21

    How do I get rid of bumblebees in a hole in my ground. Tried wasp and hornet spray but they were back the next day

  22. 22

    Hi Nick,

    For most types of ground wasps/bees, we would recommend Delta Dust. Delta Dust is a moisture proof dust with a residual effect and delay kill reaction which allows the pests to come in contact with the treated surface and carry the poison back to their nesting areas.

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