Friends of the Bees
Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Please use the Facebook group UK TOP BAR BEEKEEPERS for information and discussion of top bar beekeeping.

Please support Friends of the Bees

under ground bees

Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Ask a Bee Inspector
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
New Bee

Joined: 15 Jun 2018
Posts: 7
Location: NY

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: under ground bees Reply with quote

I'm sorry if I've choosen not relevant topic.. I need your advice.
can you give any info on hive located under ground? recently one was disturbed at our neighbors yard, now, there is a new hive in our yard...or maybe it was always there...not sure what to do. can it or should it be removed? what kind of bees live underground?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'm not a bee inspector and sadly it is a while since one visited the forum to answer queries but it sounds like it may be a nest or two of bumble bees. They usually live underground in old mouse's nests. They will only spend the summer there raising their young and then towards the end of the season, the colony produces new queens which leave to hibernate somewhere for the winter and then set up new nests elsewhere next spring. The other bees do not live through winter so these nests will die out at the end of the summer.

Bumble bees are excellent pollinators and should always be welcome neighbours in the garden. Generally, if you don't disturb them they will happily ignore you and they can be fascinating to watch. Most people don't notice them until this time of year because the queens initially set up the nest and one bee coming and going every day is not noticeable but once she has raised some workers, and then concentrates on increasing her brood nest whilst they forage, you begin to see an increasing number of bees flying back and forth to the nest. The next few weeks will probably see a peak in this activity and then it will start to decline again.
Of course without seeing a photo of the bees in question and you being in the USA I may be mistaken but I am sure if you google images of bees, you should be able to ID the type of bees you have. Bumble bees are usually fat and furry whereas honey bees are slimmer and more like wasps in body shape but more brown or black than yellow.
I hope that helps you ID them and puts your mind at rest about their existence in your garden.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Golden Bee

Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1551
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years ago, there was a colony under a manhole cover at Fowlmere RSPB reserve. A friend put a bait hive nearby to no avail and sadly this year there was no sign of the colony. They were not in an area accessed by the public unless said public were ignoring signs so there was no need to do anything.

If bumblebees, I would only think about moving if they were causing a problem. (I moved a colony once because the shed on top of the nest had been moved and the dog that spent most of its time in the garden was getting stung and the family were worried about young children who also spent time there. The move was successful.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Ask a Bee Inspector All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast

Now available from

Now available from

Now available from

4th Edition paperback now available from

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.