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The Home Depot

How to Remove a Bumblebee Nest

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Extermination > How to Remove a Bumblebee Nest
How to Remove a Bumblebee Nest

Bumblebees are classified as social bees, rather than solitary bees. This classification arises from the behaviors and activity of the bumblebee – it lives in a colony and it will defend its nest against intruders. Because of these traits of the bumblebee, you may wish to remove a bumblebee nest if you find one near your home.


The New York City Department of Health provides information about the bumblebee, including its physical characteristics and common behaviors. About 50 different species of bumblebees exist in North America.


When you must remove a bumblebee nest from your property, follow expert advice to ensure that you remove it without incident.

  1. Wait until nightfall when it’s completely dark. Wear long pants, long sleeves, shoes, a hat and gloves to protect yourself from the bees.

    1.Common Nesting Locations

    Bumblebees prefer nests on or in the ground – nestled in tall grass or even rodent holes. Bumblebees may also use a birdhouse or cavities under building foundations. Bumblebee nests are small and the bees will use it for only a few months in the spring and summer before they abandon it. A bumblebee nest will not cause damage to wood or masonry.

  2. 2.Relocating a Bumblebee Nest

    Optimally, it’s best to prepare a new spot for the nest before you disrupt it. Although you don’t want the nest near your own home, bumblebees provide an in important pollination service for flowers, fruits and vegetables. Destroying a bumblebee nest can contribute to the dwindling survival rate of many bumblebee colonies.


    A sheltered location near a tree or the foundation of a building with dried leaves or grass surrounding it would be ideal. For best results, this location should be at least 2 miles away from your home to prevent worker bumblebees from returning to the old nest location.


    Prepare a lidded box to hold the bumblebee nest while you transfer it from its current location to the new location.

  3. 3.Removing the Bumblebee Nest

    Wait until nightfall when it’s completely dark. Wear long pants, long sleeves, shoes, a hat and gloves to protect yourself from the bees.


    Lift the bumblebee nest from its location with a shovel and transfer it to the prepared box. Take care to keep the nest level and upright or you could spill the nectar pots inside the nest. Place the lid on the box and transport it to the new location.


    Remove the bumblebee nest from the box using the shovel. Transfer it carefully to the spot you prepared for it without tipping the nest in the process.

  5. 4.Other Alternatives

    Consider waiting instead of moving a bumblebee nest. Depending on the species of bumblebee, they may only use the nest for as little as one month. At the longest, bumblebees would only use the nest during the current growing season. Bumblebees do not reuse a nest from season to season. In addition, they are not overly aggressive bees and they only sting upon significant provocation.


    If you don’t feel comfortable moving the nest yourself and you decide not to wait for the bumblebees to move on, contact a professional service to perform the removal. Ask pertinent questions, however. Some companies will remove and relocate the nest to preserve it and others may simply destroy it.

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