Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bumble bees in my hole

Fuzzy, wuzzy bumbly beeOh, fuzzy bumble bee. So soft and fluffy. I wish you were bigger so that I could rest my head on your chubby body as if you were a giant pillow.

But, you see, the problem is you've set up shop in my hole. Or, rather, the hole that used to be the shutoff valve for the old sprinkler system in our lawn.

It seems like hundreds of you come and go each day out through the hole. I have no idea where you go once inside. Which makes you lucky or I would prevent your ingress/egress except I fear that you'll decide to make your way out through the house.

On one hand, I love you... you pollinate all my crops in the backyard and are just so darn cute and, well, bumbly. On the other hand, my kids play out front and we walk by your entrance several times a day. Can you please not sting anyone? I don't want to have to "remove" you.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do with them? Wait until winter and then seal up the hole? Call in a professional?


April said...

Oh, my. They obviously didn't have a realestate agent chanting "location-location-location".

I think they might need to whatever means. Maybe you could get a bee farmer to come remove them for you.

Anonymous said...

You need to remove them to avoid the risk of stings. If they are new to the hole, they won't be as concerned with defending their nest until they are fully established (takes a week or two). Contact your local beekeepers ASAP.

We knew of a house down south of us that had a longtime hive in the walls. One day the interior wall started crumbling down from the weight of the honey. The clean-up was an enormous job that involved extensive remodeling!

Anonymous said...

i'd see if there was a local bee farmer that could come remove them, too. but as long as your kids aren't allergic, i don't suppose it'd be *too* bad to wait for a sting to happen first... :(

e4 said...

Sorry about your hole...

Do you know that it's a bumblebee? Honeybees can nest in walls and such, but I believe bumbles are generally ground nesters (and generally not very apt to sting, unless you step on a clover where one is pollinating). It's worth researching anyway.

Anonymous said...

this is wonderful - I'd remove them, but keep them by setting up a hive for them, maybe in a corner of your yard or something? Seriously, with all the news about issues with bees recently, this seems like such a gift.

if there isn't a listing for local beekeepers in google :) maybe you could ask some of the folks that produce and sell honey locally via your farmers market?

Crunchy Chicken said...

e4 - they are definitely bumble bees and not honey bees. They are in a hole in the ground under the sidewalk leading up to our house, about 6 feet from the front door. So it's possible they are just nesting in the ground as you say, but since they are so close to the house, it's hard to say.

I'll look into relocating them...

Greenpa said...

Hiya Crunch. I ASSUME you had a nice picnic yesterday?? :-)

About the bees. Let them- be.

Your chances of "moving" bumblebees are very tiny, if not zero; they will NOT move into a hive. I deal with a bunch of bees and wasps in our orchards, and over the years we've learned to just stay away. They are universally beneficial; except for those stings.

What I would do is: put a little FENCE around the hole; so nobody will just forget they're there. Bumblebees are rarely agressive- unless you step on their burrow/hive. That can tick them off. Add some colorful flags to the fence, perhaps, so everybody knows it's there. If you can make something that keeps everyone 2 feet away from the hole, that will probably be enough to prevent stings. 3 feet would be better-

They will die off in the Fall. Then- fill the hole up well; so they'll have to find a different location next year.

That would be my preference.

Anonymous said...

Greenpa beat me to it. so um, ditto and stuff.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Greenpa and Nichole - that's kind of my preference... wait until they die off and then fill the hole as long as no one gets hurt. I wanted to get some opinions since I'm fairly clueless about bees.

If all else fails, I'll be calling in Jerry The Bee Guy.

Anonymous said...

Based on what I know about bees, pollination and bee guys, I second greenpa and I would have Jerry do the work if you ever have bees inside the house or have a swarm alight in the yard {a very fascinating event}. Where I live, there are billions of bees, thousands of wild hives nearby and we have to deal with them all the time. There is an abandoned wooden house next to my plant nursery. Bees live there and bats too. I would never dream of removing either. They are working very hard for my benefit and they are not even on my payroll.
I also have the carpenter bees, large solitaries that hollow out a small resting place in a log. Bees are the greatest beneficial input a gardener can have at virtually zero expense if they live nearby.