10 Ways To Get Rid of Bumblebees

Having bees around your home is never pleasant no matter how beneficial they are to the environment. 

They can also be difficult and dangerous to get rid of if not handled correctly. 

Don’t worry, I’m here to help. 

In this post, I will go over 10 effective ways you can use to get rid of bumblebees. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Relocate the Hive

Relocating the hive is the best option for getting rid of bumblebees. Bees are vital to the ecosystem, so it’s important to avoid killing them.

The best way to relocate a beehive is to hire trained professionals.

Relocating a hive can be risky to yourself and the bees. Bumblebees can attack you in the process. Their sting can be pretty painful and, unlike a honey bee, a bumblebeecan sting multiple times.

Calling a professional also ensures that you transfer the bees to their new location with minimal casualties to the bees.

When you call a professional, make sure to verify that they offer hive relocation and not just hive removal.

You don’t want some pest control company coming to your home and using insecticide to kill the bees and then only telling you afterward. Confirm their method first to avoid any confusion.

2. Use Insecticidal Dust

Insecticidal dust is one of the easiest ways to get rid of bumblebees. This method kills the bees gradually, generally leaving the bees undisturbed.

You can apply the insecticidal dust using a dusting bulb.

You will have to approach the nest for this method, so remember to wear the proper attire. You can purchase disposable bee protection suits for under $50. You can also wear jeans and a thick jacket as well as gloves. You’ll also want to wear a mosquito net to protect yourself.

Insert the tip of the dusting bulb into the nest’s entry point. Make sure to fill the entry point with dust completely. Re-apply every 2-3 days about five times or until the entire nest is dead.

3. Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) or Boric Acid

If you’re looking for a more natural insecticide, consider using Boric acid and Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Boric acid and Diatomaceous Earth are two compounds commonly used to kill household pests.

Both these compounds are highly effective as long as they get on the bumblebee.

Boric Acid:

You can kill bumblebees with boric acid by injecting the dust into the entrance of the nest. Boric acid will kill any bees that come in contact with it.

Diatomaceous Earth:

When the bees come in contact with the DE, it will slowly break down their exoskeleton, eventually causing them to dehydrate.

For both these methods, remember to re-apply every 2-3 days. Re-apply at least three times or until all the bees in the nest are killed.

4. Use Insecticide Sprays

Insecticide sprays will kill the bumblebees on contact.

I recommend using the commercial bee sprays, which come in aerosol cans that shoot foam. These sprays will cover the entire nest and the bees. They can also reach large distances, allowing you to spray bees from afar.

Another option is professional insecticides. These are more potent, and you’ll need to be closer to the hive for proper treatment.

Regardless of which method you choose, remember to exercise extra pre-caution when using insecticide spray. Insecticide sprays can upset the hive and cause them to swarm.

Make sure to wear the proper protection before spraying the bees. Wear jeans and a thick jacket as well as gloves. You’ll also want to wear a mosquito net to protect yourself. You can also purchase disposable bee protection suits for under $50.

5. Use Bee Hotels or Bumble Bee Houses

Another natural way to get rid of bees is using bee hotels.

The idea here is to give bees a new nest away from their home.

Make sure to place the bumblebee house as far away from your home as possible.

Installing the nest is fairly straightforward; all you need to do is hang it or mount it on any surface, such as a fence or a tree.

If there are no suitable sources, you can make a stand. The easiest way to make a stand is to buy a single fence stake and place it into the ground.

If you live near wooded areas, this is ideal. You can place the nest on a tree outside of your yard. You can also install it high in a tree to prevent the bumblebees from swarming too low.

Otherwise, the best option is to place the bee hotel at the edge of your backyard. You should also create a small barrier around it to keep any children or pets away.

6. Use Bee Traps

Traps are another way you can get rid of bumblebees. This solution is better for removing bees that are flying around your home but not for eliminating entire infestations.

You can place these traps where the bumblebees fly frequently. You can either buy or make your own traps.

When buying a trap, the benefit is that you can decide whether the trap will kill the bumblebees or allow you to release them.

For a DIY option, all you need is a 2-liter bottle. Cut the top off of the bottle so what remains in your hand looks like a funnel.

Place this funnel on top of the trap so that it functions as a funnel.

Next, place a liquid inside that will attract bumblebees.

For bumblebees, honey water is typically sufficient to attract them to your trap. DIY traps will typically kill the bumblebees because they will drown in the solution. 

7. Use Bee Repellents

Repellents will drive bees away and prevent them from starting a nest around your home.

The great thing about these sprays is that they allow you to repel bees without harming them in the process.

For this, you can either use a natural repellent or a chemical repellent.

Essential oils and citronella candles are effective natural repellents against bees.The downside of these natural options is that they do not provide long-lasting protection.

For long-lasting protection, you are better off using chemical repellents.

One of the most effective repellents is Bifen I/T. This insecticide is used to repel a variety of insects ranging from mosquitos, cockroaches, even bees.

You can apply Bifen I/T to plants or around the border of your home to create a barrier and repel bees.

To apply this safely and effectively, I recommend using a pressurized sprayer. Apply it to any areas where bees might try to establish a nest or where bees have established nests in the past.

8. Eliminate Potential Food Sources

Bees will come and settle in your home for food, water, and shelter. As such, one of the best ways to keep them away.

Bumblebees will travel several miles to find a food source. The distance varies, but most workers stay within 3.5 miles of the nest. That said, they can travel distances as far as twelve miles.

If possible, keep flowers away from your home. Keep the vegetation in your yard trimmed. Also, avoid leaving large piles of decaying wood or vegetation around your home. Bumbleebess will typically target these areas to create nests.

Empty old plant containers as these create the perfect nesting location for bees.

9. Seal Cracks, Crevices, and Voids

Bumblebees can start hives in small cracks or holes. To prevent infestation, be sure to seal any cracks and crevices on your walls and floor. Doing so will stop bees from getting inside small areas to build nests.

10. Use Freeze Sprays

Freeze sprays are a formulation that sprays a substance that can knock down bees on contact. The benefit of these sprays is that they have a large spray distance.

They allow you to spray a nest from around 15 feet. Freeze spray is most effective on nests in the ground or where there is a clear entry point.

Don’t use freeze spray if you don’t have direct access to the nest, such as if the nest is embedded between a crack or crevice.

11. Call A Professional

If you want a safe and hands-off approach to getting rid of bumblebees calling a professional is the best option.

A professional service will come to your home and eliminate the bumblebees and remove the nest as well.

Many services offer hive relocation and bee extermination.

I recommend you opt for the hive relocation. This will preserve the nest and relocate it to a safe area away from homes.

In certain areas, some organizations will offer free beehive relocation.

To double-check, you can look up “beehive relocation near me” on google. This will help you determine if there are any services nearby that will remove your nest for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Bumblebee?

Bumblebees are black and yellow striped insects that are famous for their hairy bodies. They belong to a class of insects called corbiculate bees. Corbicualate bees have a pouch or pollen basket where they store the nectar they collect.

Bumblebees are often confused with honey bees. But these two bees are unique from each other.

Bumblebees are known for their fuzzy bodies, whereas honey bees are smaller and thinner. Honey bees are also known for their honey, while bumblebees do not make honey.
Bumblebees do not store food for winter, which is what honey is. Also, unlike honey bees, bumblebees don’t swarm.

There are over 255 species of bumblebees throughout the world. Some of the most common in the United States are the Common Eastern Bumble Bee, the American Bumblebee, and the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.

Bumblebees don’t swarm. Bumblebees build their nest in dry, dark, quiet spaces. Most bumblebees will build underground, inside birdhouses, or in sheds.

What Do Bumble Bees Look Like?

close up bumblebee on flower

Bumblebees have black and yellow stripes. However, some species of bumblebees are orange and red. Bumblebees are famous for their large eyes and hairy bodies. They have six legs, two antennae, and four wings.

Bumblebees can grow anywhere between 0.6 inches to one inch, depending on the species. Their bodies are divided into three sections: head, thorax, and abdomen.

A female bumblebee has a stinger and pointed abdomen. In contrast, a make bumblebee does not have a stinger and has a rounded abdomen.

  • Color: Bumblebees have black and yellow stripes. However, some species of bumblebees are orange and red.
  • Size: 0.6 inches to one inch
  • Legs: six legs
    Wings: four
  • Body: Their body is divided into three sections: head, thorax, and abdomen.

How big is a bumblebee?

Bumblebees can grow anywhere between 0.6 inches to one inch. However, the queen is slightly bigger than a worker bumblebee.

How Many Legs Does a Bumblebee Have?

Bumblebees have six legs, four wings, and two antennae. Their bodies are divided into three sections: head, thorax, and abdomen.

What Does a Queen Bumblebee Look Like?

A queen bumblebee is slightly bigger than a worker bumblebee. She has a yellow midriff. And a whitetail.

How dangerous are bumblebees?

Bumblebees are not aggressive. Only female bumblebees can sting but will only do so if threatened.

That said, bumblebee stings are painful. They can also be dangerous for those with allergies.
Signs of allergic reactions to bumblebee sting include:

  • Severe swelling at the location you were stung
  • Hives
  • Flushed skin
  • Swollen in throat or lips

Finally, bumblebees can sting you multiple times.

So, while bumblebees are famous for their fuzzy, cute look, it’s best to leave them alone.

Are Bumblebee Nests Dangerous?

Bumblebees are not aggressive and will only sting you when they feel threatened. That said, it is still best to stay away from them, especially from their nest.

Bumblebees can easily feel threatened if you go near their home and will likely sting you. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees can sting multiple times. Their stings are painful, so it’s best to avoid them.

If you have a Bumblebee nest near your home, I recommend removing it. The nest poses a danger to you and your family. Not only are their stings painful, but they can also be dangerous for someone who’s allergic.

To remove an active bumblebee nest, I recommend calling a professional. If you plan to do it yourself, remember to take the necessary precautions and wear the proper attire.

If the nest is in an area where people and pets don’t frequent, I recommend waiting for the winter when the bees abandon their nest.

What are Bumble Bees Good for?

Bumblebees do not produce honey, but they play an important role in the ecosystem.

Bumblebees are pollinators. They pollinate flowers through a method called “buzz pollination”

Buzz pollination is when bumblebees release large amounts of pollen through rapid vibrating.
Bumblebees are important pollinators of many crops, including tomatoes, raspberry blueberry, strawberry, eggplant, and peppers.

Do Bumble Bees Sting?

Yes. While bumblebees are not aggressive they will sting you when threatened. Only female bumble bees can sting. Female bumblebees can sting multiple times. Their stings are painful, and can be dangerous for those who are allergic. Bumblebee sting is similar to an intense burning sensation.

What Does a Bumblebee Sting Look Like?

A bumblebee sting will look like a red welt with a white spot on the center. Sometimes, you might see a black dot in the center, indicating that the stinger is still stuck on your skin.

How Many Times Can a Bumblebee Sting?

Bumblebees can sting you multiple times. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees do not have a barbed stinger. This allows them to release the stinger from your skin without it detaching from your body.

Bumblebee Life Cycle

The bumblebees’ lifecycle starts in spring. As temperatures rise, the queen bumblebee wakes up from hibernation and emerges from the soil. Once she’s out, she’ll feed on flowers to gain strength.

The queen will then start to build her nest and lay her eggs. She will spend several days incubating her eggs and collecting pollen. Once the eggs hatch into larvae, they feed on the nectar the queen collected. The larvae will then form a cocoon to develop into bees.

Once the worker bees emerge from the cocoon, they start to build the nest and forage. The new queens and males (drones) will later mate.

The pregnant future queens will hibernate underground once fall comes around, repeating the cycle. Other members will die during winter.

When are Bumblebees most active?

Bumblebees are most active during the summer months. They hibernate during the winter and do not emerge until the temperatures get warmer.

Worker bumblebees leave their nest during the day to forage their food. At the same time, others tend to the nest.

What Attracts Bumble Bees?

Bumblebees are attracted to areas with shelter, water, and food.

Bumblebees build their nest in dry, dark, quiet spaces. Most bumblebees will build underground, inside birdhouses, hollowed trees, or in sheds.

Bumblebees are also attracted to vegetation. They feed on pollen and nectar. As such, if you have a garden in your home, you are more likely to attract bumblebees.

Do bumble bees return to the same nest?

No. Bumblebees abandon their nest during the winter and do not return to that same nest. 

That said, bumblebees may re-appear to the same area during the summer season. 

That’s because if bumblebees built a nest in an area once, it’s likely because they find it an attractive place to build a nest. As such, they may build a new one for the same reason.

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