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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Bumble Bee Ceiling Nest

    I think we might have bumble bees nesting in the ceiling at our cabin. The other night we heard lots of scratching overhead. We thought it was our resident bats. Fearing the worst, I went outside to see if I could hear anything from there. When I returned, I thought I let a bumble bee inside. I shooed it out the sliding glass door. About fifteen minutes later we heard faint buzzing. Then another bee emerged from under the ceiling tiles. Then half an hour later another. In the morning there was a fourth bee. All four left by the door, then no more. I am wondering if these were the first workers to emerge from the nest. Will the queen die if they do not return? I guess if things get bad we can remove the ceiling tiles to get at the area. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Bumble Bee Ceiling Nest

    Can you isolate them from the interior of the cabin by blocking up there way into the cabin etc? They are seasonal and will die out in the fall so if you can prevent them from entering the cabin interior, the problem will go away on its own. If not can you get to the nest area then you could move it. The nest is probably in the insulation. Put it, the queen with as many workers as you can catch in a small box or a jar and move it outside under a board or other protected area. Keep the bees in the container for at least 36 hours before opening up the entrance & releasing or otherwise they will abandon the nest and return to their old location, and I assume you want them out of your cabin. I have moved BB nest this way with good success. It is some effort and Bumblebees do sting and can aggressively defend their nest site. Be careful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bumble Bee Ceiling Nest

    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately the ceiling tiles (actually long foam strips) are open at the roof peak and at the bottom near the walls. It's a cabin so it isn't a sealed ceiling like you would find in a house. We will be gone for a little over a week so I'm not sure what will happen when we return. Is it possible the bees drilled in through the tar paper from the outside to get to the space underneath? If they went in and out that way it might not be too bad. If they travel through the cabin it might be a bit more difficult. And I though the bats under our tin roof were bad!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Bumble Bee Ceiling Nest

    Bees, bats. There's probably a wasps nest or two up there as well. There is an opening to the outside into the attic space as I assume the BB's cannot travel from the outside through the interior of the cabin to the ceiling. If there is a way into the cabin from the ceiling then there is always a chance that they will invite themselves in. The nest will be obvious when you find it. Bumblebees buzz very loudly when you disturb their nest. Shake the insulation with a stick where you think their nest is. The buzzing indicates the nest location which is probably in the insulation. They love that stuff. Then you can move it or spray it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bumble Bee Ceiling Nest

    Yellow jackets try to put nests under the eves and once hornets gave it a go. We were quick to rid ourselves of those nasty visitors. We did have a large hornet nest on the granite rock wall nest to our cabin, but as long as we didn't go close they never bothered us. It was demolished during the winter storms so maybe they won't return this year.

    There should be no holes in the tar paper under the metal roof unless the bats have caused some damage that we don't know about. I'm not even sure we have any insulation up there, but I guess we might soon find out. I hate to kill the bees. They do such a good job in my garden. If I can keep shooing them out the door that might work if they can't get back in from the roof. I'll keep you posted when we get back next week.

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