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What to do - bumble bee nest in threshold of door used for run in/out of barn

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  • What to do - bumble bee nest in threshold of door used for run in/out of barn

    I have a rapidly growing nest of bumble bees under the threshold of the door from my horse's stall. He has a run in/out and this is the door that he uses.

    Right now, the bees fly in and out of their nest from the outside (ie. haven't seen any in the barn) and they don't bother us or the horse. At least not yet.

    I like pollinators and really don't want to exterminate them but I can't do much in the barn that isn't near where they have their nest and my horse can't go in/out of his stall without stepping over the threshold.

    So far, stepping on or banging the threshold isn't setting the bees off.

    We know they are bumble bees.

    I'm torn, I don't want to exterminate them, and the only way to move the nest is to dissamble part of my barn. I'm not sure I am comfortable leaving them as I hear they will keep coming back to the same spot which I definitely do not want.

    Looking for suggestions, thoughts, magic...

    Thanks..

  • #2
    Are they honey bees? You can call in a bee keeper, they will remove and rehome them for you. They shouldn't need to remove anything. Although depending on where the nest is, they might need to remove a board or two (if that's possible?) That's the only suggestion I have other than killing them, which really, if they are honey bees, I would avoid harming them. Good luck though! I am allergic but still, like you, I don't like having to kill them if I can avoid it.
    The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have seen several posts in the farm section of Craigslist offering to relocate bees. There is no such thing as a "bumble" bee. They are all pollinators and are useful, even the carpenter bees. That said, I am not sure if they have to be at the "swarm" stage for them to be relocated but it would be worth it to put up an ad and also to contact someone who is a beekeeper in the area who might have some ideas or contacts.
      "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Calamber View Post
        I have seen several posts in the farm section of Craigslist offering to relocate bees. There is no such thing as a "bumble" bee. They are all pollinators and are useful, even the carpenter bees. That said, I am not sure if they have to be at the "swarm" stage for them to be relocated but it would be worth it to put up an ad and also to contact someone who is a beekeeper in the area who might have some ideas or contacts.
        What else do you call these fat little buggers that are not bees nor wasps?

        The kind commonly referred to as 'bumble bee' is an outstanding pollinator, better than a honey bee.
        They usually don't grow huge colonies though. And a handful less probably won't hurt the ecological balance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Call a beekeeper and he'll remove them for you.

          They tend to provide a service if they're wasps too.

          I tend to get them every year somewhere or other on the yard.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless you're really scientific and call them a bombus (!), yes, they are bumblebees.

            http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/bumble-bee.html
            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              So I called around to local companies who exterminate and who remove hives.

              They said bumble bees are not like honey bees in that they don't have an organized nest so removal is really not an option.

              And the cost to exterminate is $475! Eek!

              Not to mention, I'd have to move the "boys" away from that stall for a couple days. My barn isn't really configured to do so and I'm not sure I want to move the old guy to another barn (at 28, although he's a been-there-done-that horse, a move could be stressful).

              Sigh.

              The yellow jackets and wasps in the pipe gates I can deal with, this requires more thought.

              Comment


              • #8
                If it were my barn, I would hit them with some wasp and hornet spray. They are not very aggressive bees but they still pack a wallop. I know this from first hand experience.
                Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

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                • #9
                  Perhaps this page will help. It sounds like they are not around for long... perhaps you can coexist peacefully for a few months until they die off?

                  http://www.bumblebee.org/faqNests.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know you don't want to kill them, but convincing them to move on before the nest grows much bigger may be your only option.

                    If you don't want to spray them, can you do something like cover the opening of the nest with something? A tarp covered in dirt or bedding so the horses will still walk over it? I know that will probably kill the queen and any brood they have going, I don't know what it will do to the others though.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bird4416 View Post
                      If it were my barn, I would hit them with some wasp and hornet spray. They are not very aggressive bees but they still pack a wallop. I know this from first hand experience.
                      Really?! Funny that.. One of DH's favorite hay baling stories is about seeing me jumping off the hay rack and running full speed down the hill screaming being chased by bumble bees because HE ran over the ground nest of bumble bees with the tractor while baling hay.

                      Damn, their stings hurt! Maybe you just have to run their nest over w/ the tractor and baler to incur their wrath!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Covering the nest entrance at night might work. Maybe.

                        It's true that bumble bees tend not to be as hostile as others (wasps, hornets, etc.). Unless you whack at them or start stomping at the nest, they usually just go about their business. But they do sting hard when angry!! One stung my mare's belly when she swished her tail and hit it. I had to kill it, as it was sitting on her belly with the stinger in, stinging and stinging without stopping.

                        One year there were a couple of nests along the front of the barn, where the base meets the ground. The BO sprayed them, since they were getting busier and busier and interfering with opening and closing the barn door.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guin View Post
                          Unless you're really scientific and call them a bombus (!), yes, they are bumblebees.

                          http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/bumble-bee.html
                          Thank you for specifying! Excellent picture and what I always pictured a bumblebee as.

                          As heartless as it sounds, in that location, I would either protect mtself really well, go after sunset on a cool night and use a wasp killer spray to eliminate them. I love my bees and wasps too, but not in my horse's stalls, my attic, or my horse trailer. The ones living in the rock walls can stay.
                          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Loves to ride View Post
                            So I called around to local companies who exterminate and who remove hives.

                            They said bumble bees are not like honey bees in that they don't have an organized nest so removal is really not an option.

                            And the cost to exterminate is $475! Eek!

                            Not to mention, I'd have to move the "boys" away from that stall for a couple days. My barn isn't really configured to do so and I'm not sure I want to move the old guy to another barn (at 28, although he's a been-there-done-that horse, a move could be stressful).

                            Sigh.

                            The yellow jackets and wasps in the pipe gates I can deal with, this requires more thought.

                            I used to store my hay on wood pallets and one year bumblebees decided to build a nest under one of the pallets. The buggers were using my barn aisle as a runway! I couldn't groom a horse there and could barely walk down the aisle to feed.

                            I did call the exterminator and he sprayed a powder if I remember correctly and it killed the nest. Obviously I tossed out any bales of hay surrounding that area but the exterminator didn't say anything about not going by that area for a few days.

                            Perhaps he can come when you have the horses out to pasture, spray and then you could cover the open area with dirt.

                            PS. As long as he's going to charge you that much, see if he'll spray the entire barn for bees/wasps etc. with no additional charge. That price is about what I pay to have my home sprayed twice/yr for bees and cluster flies.
                            Sue

                            I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                              What else do you call these fat little buggers that are not bees nor wasps?

                              The kind commonly referred to as 'bumble bee' is an outstanding pollinator, better than a honey bee.
                              They usually don't grow huge colonies though. And a handful less probably won't hurt the ecological balance.
                              Learn something new everyday. I thought these were Mason bees.
                              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                red mason bees do look like bumblebees although not quite as fuzzy, but most of our mason bees look like fat blue or black houseflies and are not striped.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CatOnLap View Post
                                  red mason bees do look like bumblebees although not quite as fuzzy, but most of our mason bees look like fat blue or black houseflies and are not striped.
                                  Is a mason bee the same as a carpenter bee? (Carpenter bees look a little like bumble bees, but less fuzzy, and they drill perfectly round holes in wood buildings.)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    And carpenters bees stalk you At least it feels that way when they are starting a nest/hole and staking out territory. They'll hover right behind you and staaaaaare at you.

                                    I've never been stung by one, but it's unnerving just the same!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If you want to try something before resorting to lethal methods, you might make a slurry of orange peels and water in a blender and carefully put the slurry into the nest.

                                      I have successfully persuaded yellowjackets to move their nests out of my compost pile (which i CERTAINLY didnt want to douse with pesticides) with an orange slurry.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by saje View Post
                                        And carpenters bees stalk you At least it feels that way when they are starting a nest/hole and staking out territory. They'll hover right behind you and staaaaaare at you.

                                        I've never been stung by one, but it's unnerving just the same!
                                        If they're carpenter bees, the males are the ones chasing anything that moves, and they don't sting. (The females do sting, but they're busy eating your barn.)

                                        The powder someone mentioned is probably Drione dust, (and a quick search turns up Pyganic dust which is similar, and cheaper.)

                                        I *love* all kinds of bees in my garden and in the clover "lawn". But not around the house or the (as yet unbuilt) barn.
                                        --
                                        Wendy
                                        ... and Patrick

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