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A friend of mine thinks a swarm has set up residence under her back porch steps. I'm familiar with her porch, and the porch is not much more than a foot above ground at that point. I haven't been over there to check it out, but I'm more inclined to think ground wasps rather than honey bees.

The porch is large with a wooden floor, so it would be damp ground under there. Would bees really be likely to settle there? I thought they liked to be higher and drier than under an old porch.
 

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I get several calls a year from a landscape company who finds honeybees that have made homes in irrigation valve boxes (ground level, boxes are actually burried all that sticks above ground is the lid). Although they prefer to be higher, they will move in just about anywhere they see fit. I see lots of them under porches or under trailers that are less than 2 feet off the ground.
 
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