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Alan in Vermont
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northwest Vermont, Champlain Valley

rkunsaw wrote:I have been stung many times by bumble bees.they will chase you down and unlike honey bees bumble bees can sting many times. Bumblebees will not bother you if you don't bother their nest.With the scarcity of honey bees we really need to keep the bumblebees.
Now THAT sounds like the BBs I know and abhor. I have abandoned vehicles, farm equipment and patches of ground to them. They're fine in the garden as they are vigorous enough to cover a lot of flowers in a day.

OTOH, it takes very little to get their blood up and I have too many memories of dealing with mean bahstuds to cut them any slack around my buildings.

Some of my memories of them involve one of our hay barns. It had studded walls rather than post & beam construction. Some parts of it were boarded on the inside with tonue & groove lumber with a lot of the knots fallen out after many years of drying. The BBs would nest in those cavities, not a big deal until you started putting hay in the barn. The bales dropping off the conveyor onto the mow floor would cause enough vibration to rouse the bees. If we found the hole we could go in at night and (hastily) nail a board over the hole. We found that an old badminton racquet worked great in an anti-aircraft mode. As there were always several guys working to stack the hay the one with the best aim ran air cover for the rest of us.

Out in the fields they would nest in any wad of hay that was not picked up. The next year you would hit the nests while mowing making for some exciting times. We used to run two tractors when cutting hay, one with the mowing machine and the other following close behind with a hay conditioner (crushes the hay stems to help it dry faster). I was on the conditioner and right tight behind the mower one day when the mower disturbed a nest. They hadn't gotten over the initial upset and I spotted a churning mass of black/yellow hurt in time to roll it into the ground with the rear tractor tire.

So yeah, if you can work aroung them they are tolerable but once you cross their threshold of hate they will pursue you far longer than you can run. I will avoid them if I can but if it gets down to killing bees or getting stung the bees are going to lose the battle.

Unfortunately I have never heard of any way to relocate a nest. Sad as it may be the only recourse for BBs impinging on space we need to occupy seems to be just one step short of global thermonuclear war.

Greener Thumb
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>>nesting in a studded barn

see, that's the problem.

"bumble bees" nest in the ground or in grass clumps. it would be very unusual for them to nest in a structure - of any kind.

no doubt you've been chased by something you identified as a bee, but most probably not a bumble bee - and if the bad tempered dudes had segmented bodies, not a bee at all.

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Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Thank you for all your input. Yes, the hole is right next to the door and they could fly in the house. I have forwarded her edited versions of your comments, so that she has some background info as well. Some of the preventative measures I might try myself.

Thanks again.
Happy Gardening,

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Re: Convincing bumblebees to move?

Ok, there is an opening between my house foundation and the sidewalk.. and i've noticed bumblebee's going down into the opening during the day. Obviously, there is a honeycomb developing. The bee's are entering the opening with sacs on their legs. I'm not afraid of them, i know if i leave them alone, they'll leave me alone. I also found out that they die out and move on in the winter. (especially here in western Canada with our cold, snowy winters) What i want to know is exactly when i can seal up the crack (opening). I guess i can watch to see if there is any more activity, but otherwise, when can i take care of this. I need to do it before the snow falls in November(ish).. but i also do NOT want to seal any bee's in there because i heard they can find another way out if they are trapped and i live in a bsmt suite.. last thing i want is to find bee's buzzing around my cupboards, etc.
Help please :) Thx

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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Convincing bumblebees to move?

Are you sure you have bumble bees? What do they look like? Here the big black or golden bees are often called bumble bees but they really are carpenter bees. They do like to nest in unpainted wood.

The solution is actually to fill the holes around the foundation and paint the wood.

I understand, when people are allergic to bees, a bee sting can be life threatening and reason for concern.

If there is an extension agent in the area, maybe they may have resources to find bee keepers in the area who might be able to identify the bees and suggest ways to lure them away as an alternative to killing them.

We actually have put up artificial hives for the carpenter and leaf cutter bees in the trees to encourage them to nest there instead of in the building. The apiary is in the orchard.

I work around bees all of the time. We don't have Africanized bees here so the bees here are more interested in going about their business collecting nectar and pollen from the flowers than stinging anyone.

If you pay attention, most bees will give a warning buzz if you get too close to them. The last time I got stung was when I did not see a bee on my pick and when I grabbed the pick, I grabbed the bee and it stung me.

Bees work primarily after the sun comes up and the morning is starting to warm up and again in the early evening when it cools down. I have learned to do most of my gardening around their work schedule. If I have to do something when they are foraging, I just use a gentle sprinkle of water to nudge them out of the way.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: Convincing bumblebees to move?

Snowbird - it would really help if you could get a picture of your bee(s). If not that then at least the best description you can with size and details.

Bumblebees make honey but only in very small amounts and they don't store it. Thus, I don't believe they make honeycomb. But they do sometimes make a waxy canopy over the top of their nest for protection.

It is still not clear what kind of bee you have, which might make a difference in how you deal with it.
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