[NAFEX] bumble aggression

Bruce Hansen brucehansen at acd.net
Tue Apr 22 11:33:41 EDT 2003

It has been my experience that all bees are good to have around the garden
and orchard. The flowers love them as well. But get around the nest and
hornets, sweat bees and, yes, bumble bees get pretty nasty, as they ought
to. I do not bother these critters even when during cider making I have to
continuously remove hornets from the brew. But, if they build their nest in
a tree tube, near a new tree needing irrigation, near the entrance to the
house, barn, or greenhouse, I spray the nest with killer chemicals or use
water in the case of sweat bees.


z5 MI
-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Lucky Pittman
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 9:26 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: [NAFEX] bumble aggression

The bumbles are working my blueberries at the moment.

I've only had a single encounter with a bumblebee nest, but it wasn't very
much fun.  In my limited experience, they're every bit as aggressive as
yellowjackets if you disturb their nest.
I was mowing some fairly rank, overmature grass alongside the driveway a
number of years ago, when WHAM! out of nowhere, those rascals started
nailing me.  Of course, I took off on a sprint - ran at least 50 yards to
escape them.  Left the lawnmower running - I believe it as positioned
almost directly over the entrance to the nest at the point in time when I
departed.  A significant number of bees committed suicide on the mower
blades as they exited the nest, but it still took a good 30 minutes before
I was able to sneak back up to the mower and shut it off.  Left it there
until nightfall, when I was able to remove it safely.  Hated to do it, but
since I had a 1 & 3 -yr old toddling around at the time, I poured a cup of
gasoline down the hole to finish off any survivors.


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