What do I do about these bees?


For about two weeks, bees have been going in and out of this v-shaped space next to the moss on the left side of the photo. It's right next to my driveway but I don't bother them and vice versa. They fly VERY quickly into the hole and during a lot of the day they're there. I don't know if they're carpenter bees or honey bees. I looked at pix online but these bees move so fast that I can't tell which one they are. I read that bees don't like citrus and to spray citrus oil around the area but I think they might get upset and sting me.

Do honey bees use holes like this to make their home? Someone suggested I should call a honey bee keeper and he'd come get them. I don't want to kill them no matter what kind they are.

One problem I have is that I need to plant these still-potted impatiens into the soil above where the bees are and I wonder if I started digging holes, if I might run into the bees in the soil.

So, what to do regarding the bees AND planting the impatiens?

q what do i do about these bees
q what do i do about these bees
  14 answers
  • Yellow Jackets like spots like this. Without a picture of the bee, it's hard to say what they are. You can call a professional and get their opinion. If they are bees, they can be moved. Yellow Jackets are nasty and will chase you. I wouldn't allow them to stay.

  • Tami Tami on Jul 14, 2020

    It is possible they are hornets and hornets are mean! I do not believe bees will go into the ground, at least not honey bees. Sorry to say but, if you plugged the hole they couldn't get in or out. I'm not sure if a bee keeper could get to these.

  • Gk Gk on Jul 14, 2020

    Here's an informational article that tells you what bees could be living in your garden.


    If you have yellow jackets--watch out--they are nasty!! I once stepped on a nest in my raspberry patch and was stung over 30 times--and that was running away from the yellow jackets. The dog got nailed too! Luckily I am not allergic to bee stings. You should be able to see the black and yellow as they come and go. I would not dig into the soil above this entrance hole.

    • Jane S. Rehder Jane S. Rehder on Jul 14, 2020

      A recent newsp article-call a bee keeper group who'll come and GET THEM. They're lost, or need a new, another hive for their queen &theselves. The Bee group will explain. 🌸🌿 don't hurt or damage them. This Bee group should be rt out to get them. Earth needs our BEES for all crops & foods, & flowers.

  • Baxter Baxter on Jul 14, 2020

    That's probably the entrance to a yellowjacket nest that could be as deep as 2 to 4 feet. I know you say you don't want to kill them, but if you or a child got attacked, you might change your mind. Their stings are painful. Even if you don't provoke them, yellowjackets are more aggressive than wasps, hornets, mud daubers or bees. Yellowjackets don't lose their stingers when they sting, so they can sting numerous times (and they'll bite your flesh to get a better grip as they as they sting!). Read about eradicating them or even better, leave it to a professional pest control company to be sure they are gone. (My children were attacked by yellowjackets and stung multiple times in the face and scalp...both ending up with medical treatment. Yellowjackets can be dangerous and painful!) Good luck!

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 14, 2020

    Honeybees are very small, and their numbers are diminishing.

    Yellow jackets are longer, thin, and particularly aggressive at this time of year. They make ground nests, which as Baxter wrote, can prove difficult to treat. Should you be stung repeatedly, you may find you have an allergic reaction, resulting in anaphylactic shock (requires an Epi pen injection and follow up at an ER, in a number of cases).

    Chemical sprays to treat these can be found in hardware stores/home centers, but the area should be treated after dusk, and may require repeated applications. Some people have soaked the nest area with a flammable liquid and cautiously ignited the area to kill these in the ground nest.

    Yellow jackets will chase you, even following you into your home. You need to eradicate the nest, if these are yellow jackets, which may entail deconstructing those timbers, as well, as replacing the ground area with rock.

    Please carefully review the photos of honeybees/bumblebees vs. Yellowjackets and Hornets or the common wasp, and treat, accordingly.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 14, 2020

    I believe they are yellow jackets as well. I had a nest that stung me while I was in my yard, not disturbing them. I had to go to the doctor, it was over 40 and they chased me until I got a garden hose and turned it on them. I was afraid they would get in the house if I ran inside.

    I tried everything, including gas, but it didn't get rid of them. My daughter lives in Georgia, I'm in Alabama, and she called an exterminator. He showed her what he used (Spectracide Pro Was & Hornet Spray) and she told me. I got it, it shoots 40 feet, and they were GONE. I found it at Lowe's.


    • Jane S. Rehder Jane S. Rehder on Jul 14, 2020

      Call this Bees group first,,, before spraying them w/who knows what.

      Rachael Carson/EPA would 've had all the answers for YOU,, and the phone # ,, look online for help FIRST.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 14, 2020

    Either yellow jackets or hornets, more than likely, not honey bees. But would have to see them to be sure. That being said, what you can do is spray the entry way with WD40, at dusk or dawn when their activity is low. The WD40 will coat their wings and they will not be able to fly.

  • Em Em on Jul 14, 2020

    Honey bees generally nest in trees. You do NOT want to kill them. They can be extracted by a professional without harm to them and relocated. They make paper nests. Yellow jackets are most likely. They are a nuisance. The fuzzy black and yellow ones are also good pollinators. If they are not bothering you and are not close enough to be a nuisance consider leaving them alone.

    If they are yellow jackets, (shiny black and yellow stripes) you may wish to get rid of them. In the fall they become very aggressive and sting without provocation. You need to kill the Queen. If you just spray the entrance you will kill the worker bees and risk getting stung.

    Exterminators usually use a powder applied with a bellows so that the bees coming and going drag the poison into the Queen. If not she will just produce more workers.

    If they are in a difficult location consider the cost of an exterminator worth the price.

    • See 1 previous
    • Em Em on Jul 15, 2020

      Exterminators use a powder sprayed in with a bellows that pushes the powder in the hole coats them am and the queen will eventually get the poisoned powder. Spraying the perimeter of your house every 3 months is a money making gimmick. Not to mention not even healthy for the environment.

  • Seth Seth on Jul 14, 2020


    Carpenter bees are large and resemble Bumble bees as compared to a smaller honey bee. You might also see sawdust as evidence. Bald Face hornets resemble honey bees, but their color is not quite yellow and black, more like a whitish and black. They are very aggressive if you come near their nest.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 14, 2020

    First thing I thought of were yellow jackets but to be fair that might just be because I got stung between the eyes last year. :(

  • Patty Patty on Jul 15, 2020

    If you want them gone, put unused dryer sheets out there. We placed them all over the patio so mom could sit outside. She is deathly allergic. Bees gone.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Jul 15, 2020

    I'd definitely spray them with wasp spray

  • Chronic Chronic on Jul 15, 2020


  • KCRose KCRose on Jul 18, 2020

    The action of these bees sound like carpenter bees. Unfortunately they love untreated wood such as you have. When I had similar issues with rough cedar railings on my porch I called the bee authority for the state I was in for a suggestion as to how to get rid of them.

    His comment was that he received many, many similar calls about this problem. He cautioned me that exterminating them was illegal. All bees were protected at that time. We had to change the porch railings to fix our problem. Call your local bee expert as others have suggested to known exactly what you are dealing with. This expert can help you do the correct the problem. Your local farm bureau or university can be two wonderful contacts.

    You may want to plant your inpatients in pots and sit them on top of the wood. Good luck.