User avatar
GUMBEE
Full Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:08 am
Location: NY

Bees in compost pile

What should I do about the bee's nest in my compost pile. They look like honey bees and come back every year. I think I should leave them alone even though I can't use any of my compost.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Bees in compost pile

Well are you hoping to harvest honey, or are you just afraid of moving the hive and angering all those bees? If it's the later, if you contact a local bee keeper, they are usually more than happy to come to your property and retrieve a hive free of charge because they are usually looking for more hives and more honey. You might find a local bee keeper if you go to a local health food store, or farmer's market you can usually find local honey and therefore local honey farms.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Bees in compost pile

Honey bees are precious these days. If they really are honey bees and are doing well there, can't you just start a new compost pile somewhere else? I know it is a shame to give up on a year's worth of compost, but the bees will make up for it, by what they contribute to your garden.

My Quaker Meeting was keeping a bee hive, but the bees died despite our best efforts and the fact that our five acre property is totally organic and has been since the 1970's....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: Bees in compost pile

I would be looking for a bee expert to ID them.

Beekeepers love to get swarms found hanging from tree limbs like a giant football made of bees. They haven't found a new home yet. I don't know exactly how they would handle a hive that's already set up shop in a compost pile. You'd have to ask them.

If you don't have luck at the farmer's market try calling your County Ag Extension office and ask them. They usually know who's doing what in the area.

One way to keep them from coming back every year might be to set up an actual hive next to the compost pile for them to use. If you can't beat em, join em!
Tox

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Bees in compost pile

Do a search for bee keepers in your area or contact your county agent for information. Bee keepers will be more than happy to collect the hive if they actually are honey bees.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Bees in compost pile

With out a picture I am not sure but I am doubtful they are honey bees. Yes I could be wrong but generally bees will build their nests (wild bees) as high as they can to protect themselves from honey eating or bee eating predators. I am willing to bet you have yellow jackets in that pile. They do look a little like honey bees but are smaller and way more aggressive. I just got stung once on each ankle last weekend while cleaning up a brush pile. I would rather get stung by 10 honey bees than by one yellow jacket!
Honey bee
Image

Yellow jacket
Image

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Bees in compost pile

Oh and if they are honey bees don't kill them it is illegal in most every state and I am sure it is in NY everything else is there!

AyatollahGondola
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Bees in compost pile

We got a lot of attention from bees in our compost pile just after dumping a lot of refuse from making grape juice. The skins, seeds, and such were dumped in there by the half gallons over a period of a few days in the summer. No hives formed, but the collectors were crawling all over in scores. They loved that stuff

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: Bees in compost pile

Yellow jackets do indeed nest in the ground and they are mean, mean, mean. Did I say mean? They will chase you down the block if you make them mad. And just getting too close will make them mad, whereas honeybees are like your best pal in comparison.
Tox



Return to “Composting Forum”