What is a bumblebee? Can bumblebees hurt me?
Bumblebees are equipped with barb-free stingers capable of stinging over and over, but it is highly unlikely they will use them. Content to spend their lives travelling from flower to flower, bumblebees are lovers, not fighters. The only instance when they may exhibit aggression is when defending their nest, but this is very rare.
Where do bumblebees nest?
Unlike most stinging insects, bumblebees don’t construct their own homes, preferring to occupy warm, soft environments like vacant mouse and bird nests. Colonies typically consist of about 50 bees including a queen. Because bumblebees are a valuable asset to our ecosystem and are a non-aggressive species, encountering a nest isn’t cause for concern or alarm. Nesting is only an issue if it is occurring inside your home or business.
Removing a bumblebee nest
Unless a bumblebee nest is inside your home or business, removal isn’t necessary. Here are some considerations when deciding how to best address a nesting situation:
Bumblebees inhabit a nest for only a single six-month season, so should you find them to be a nuisance, they will move on in a short amount of time.
- Bumblebees are gentle and pose no threat.
- Many plants are dependent upon bumblebee pollination for survival. If bumblebees become extinct, we will lose these plant species along with them.
- Bumblebees inhabit a nest for only a single six-month season, so should you find them to be a nuisance, they will move on in a short amount of time.
- Scientists specializing in bumblebees monitor bee activity by conducting nest surveys. You can participate in aiding those working to protect the bees by taking part in these surveys.
Should you still feel the need to remove a bumblebee nest from your property after reading the above information, be sure to contact a professional. Bee removal and control specialists in your area will remove and relocate the nest in a safe and humane manner.
Image courtesy of USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab via Creative Commons license on Flickr.