The low drone of a bumble bee lumbering past your ears can make you flinch away. While bumble bees are not usually dangerous, when large numbers of them are buzzing around your yard, they can interfere with your ability to enjoy your garden. If bumble bees have become a problem, you can make a homemade solution to kill them.
Bumble bees are best recognized by the long hairs that cover their body. Most are yellow- and black-banded, but some also display red and orange colors. Like other bees, they are social insects that live in groups. Their nests are usually smaller than those of other bees. They feed on nectar. Bumble bees have stingers; theirs are unbarbed, which means they will not stick in a person's skin. This gives the bumble bee the ability to sting over and over again.
You can create your own homemade bumble bee killer from hot peppers. Chop up a cup of peppers, and pour a quart of nearly boiling water over them, skin, seeds and all. Let them sit until the water is cool, then pour the water and some of the pepper pieces into a spray bottle. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap to the water and your solution is ready. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that burns bees and kills them on contact. Dish soap penetrates a bee's soft body, helping to push capsaicin inside. It can also be deadly to insects on its own.
Spray the homemade bumble bee killer directly onto a bumble bee to kill it. This bee-killing mixture will also kill other insects, like ants and wasps. Avoid spraying it directly onto plants; over time, dish soap can damage a plant's tissue, which can lead to a loss of vigor in the plant.
Bumble bees are important pollinators that can help the plants in your garden and yard thrive. They are rarely dangerous to humans; although they can sting multiple times, they don't attack unless first attacked or their nest is in danger. If you don't have to kill bumble bees, try using the killer as a deterrent first. Spray it in an area where you plan to be in a few hours, and it will keep bees away while you enjoy the outdoors.
- "Tiny Game Hunting"; Hilary Dole Klein, et al.; 2001
- "Greeniology"; Tanya Ha; 2007
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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