Wasps and Bee Removal
Did a swarm of honey bees just land in a tree near your home?
Do you have a colony of honey bees living behind the siding of your home?
Do you have a wasp nest in the ground, behind the siding or hanging on the eaves of your house?
With reason, many people confuse yellow jacket wasps, hornet wasps, and honey bees. So that you can get the help you need, please consult this link to correctly identify whether you have found bees, yellow jackets, wasps, or hornet wasps on your property.
The University of Minnesota Bee Lab does not remove wasp nests from structures. Our advice is: if they are not bothering you, enjoy them, or at least ignore them, for our short summer season; the pesky wasps will be dead after two hard frosts.
Please read Bothered by Bees or Wasps? (.pdf) for more information and photos.
Honey bees and Swarms
Local hobby beekeeping associations are equipped to collect swarms from your yard. For information and photos on what a swarm of honey bees looks like: Swarms (by the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association)
Honey bees and bees in general are not aggressive by nature and only seek pollen and nectar sources. Honey or bumble bees only sting when protecting their hive or nest or themselves from a threat. You may be seeing a swarm of honey bees looking for a new home. These bees will gather on a tree limb or concealed space until scouts find a new home, usually within 12 to 36 hours. During swarming, the bees are especially gentle, as they are not protecting any home.
If honey bees have taken up residence in your home, there are professionals that can remove them, but often it involves some major destruction and reconstruction of your home or building. For Twin Cities area removal of bees from structures, Four Seasons Apiaries
For a more general list of Minnesota Firms: Removal of Swarms and Bees from Structures
Bumble bees are usually only defensive (likely to sting) when their nest is disturbed. People can usually live peacefully with a nearby bumble bee colony by simply placing some garden fencing or chicken wire around the area of the nest entrance. This prevents people from accidentally getting too close to the nest, but does not interfere with the bees. Colonies are annual. If you do not discover the nest until August, it will not be long before the nest is done.
Bumble bees nests that are moved have a high failure rate. We do not recommend moving a nest unless there is no other choice. Even when there is no other choice, be aware that we have a federally protected bumble bee species in MN, the rusty-patched bumble bee. It is against the law to intentionally destroy a rusty patched bumble bee nest. Please verify what kind of bumble bee you have before moving or destroying a nest. See ID guide here. You can send photos of bumble bees to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are regularly getting bumble bees in your basement, it is likely that they are nesting in your siding somewhere and have found a way into your house. If you can find the hole they are using on the inside of your house, you can plug it at any time. If you can find the hole in your siding, you canplug it after the fist frost or two without causing damage to the hive.
Ground nesting bees
Some species of solitary bees can form many nests close together. The adults are only active for a few weeks, but you may see dozens of bees flying around an area. These bees rarely sting even when you are close to the nest. Please enjoy the brief show they provide. The rest of the year the young will be developing under ground so please do not disturb the soil or apply pesticides in the area even after the bees are no longer active.