So... you have unwanted bees?
In your compost, under your deck, in your trees... bees bees bees! We want to thank you, first of all, for researching a solution that includes the bees living. Bees are an integral part of our ecosystems and your interest in learning more about bees so you can help them and get rid of them is commendable. Thank you!
If you are reading this page, it is because you have bees that you need to remove from a location because they are either being a nascence or they are in the way of you property development/utility. On the other hand they could have magically appeared in your yard in a massive cloud, like something out of a movie! Well, no matter what the reason, we can help!
Step One: What the heck kind of bee are they?
Being able to differentiate between the two is essential for understanding the behaviour each and making a decision about how to approach their removal if necessary.
- Thick and furry body. Fat all around with yellow, orange, and or black colouring.
- Thick wings visible when landed.
- Various sizes from 2-5cm.
- Live in poorly drained soils. Small nests os 5-50 members.
- Queeens are the only bee to overwinter, they hibernate at the nesting site.
- Bumblebees can sting multiple times, but only the females can sting.
- Bumblebees do not produce a honey surplus like honeybees.
- They are native to Canada, with over 25 species specializing on the Rocky Mountain Regions.
Bumblebees are not usually aggressive and will mainly sting when the hive is threatened. Their lifecycle is very different from the honeybee and begins in the fall. A queen bumblebee is born and takes flight seeking out a nesting site. When she finds it she stores her pollen and honey in little waxy pots parallel to the ground. The whole nest will be no larger then your palm. She will spend the WHOLE winter in there alone until the sping thaw. The queen will then exit, usually seek out a secondary nesting site and begin raising and feeding her baby bees. At the end of her lifecycle she will usually lay a few drones (male bees) and queens and die. The whole colony will eventually disappear after she dies because all of her workers die of old age and are not replaced. The summer nesting site remains small and no larger then you hand.
Question: Is the summer nest inhabited by bees in the winter?
Answer: No/ rarely. If it is, it will be inhabited by a single queen bumblebee.
Question: Will the bumblebee nest cause issues in the internal integrity of my house?
Answer: No. Bumblebees use insulation and organic matter to build their nests, and their nests to not reach a size much larger then a softball. There is no concern that the bumblebees are going to do any damage to your home.
- Small body, fuzzy torso, sleek abdomen, and thin wings.
- 2.5cm in length
- Colonies of 1000-25000.
- Can sting only once, but the males cannot sting
- Produce a honey comb and honey surplus
- Large portion of the colony overwinters with the queen
- Honeybees are not native to Canada, brought over by Europeans during settlement.
Honeybees are calm and unaggressive, but the quantity of bees can make the homeowner anxious and usually irrational in actions, disturbing the bees and making them feel threatened. The removal of a honeybee hive can be challenging and may take a professional, call your local Beekeepers Association or if in Calgary contact us. Honeybees are very different from Bumblebees in that they are communal year-round. That means that the colony remains larger than one individual throughout the winter. Honeybees procreate by sending off swarms. Swarms are signs of a healthy colony splitting in to two healthy colonies, sending off the old queen with the older bees in the swarm, and leaving the younger bees to raise a new queen. Swarms are gentle and unaggressive when seen!
Step 2: What to do?
To relocate or not to relocate, that is the question. Sharing your yard with any kind of pollinator is an excellent sign of your community health and prosperity. But where the nest/hive is located may cause you some problems, so what do you do? Well, with Bumblebees, you can wait until the fall for their populations to die out, and then close the hole/entrance of the nesting site. Remember, just because there were bees there this year, does not mean they will come back next year, nor that they wont. It could be just a really good location. Closing off the entrance helps you keep that site free of bees.
You have decided to relocate them.
If they are honeybees, please fill out A.B.C's Community Hive Plan-Bee Swarm Catchers Group form and they will do their best to promptly rescue the swarm for FREE.
If the honeybees are living within the walls of your house. This may require a cut-out or trap-out, please contact Eliese Watson of A.B.C to come and remove the bees, please call 403.244.4770. There will be a minimum $40.00 charge for a site visit and assessment by A.B.C before any action is taken in their removal.
Be sure to respect the bees, and not to fear them. They are not after your meals, they are eaters of pollen and nectar and will leave you alone if you leave them be.