How to Remove Underground Bee Hives

An abundance of bees may indicate the presence of an underground nest.
An abundance of bees may indicate the presence of an underground nest. (Image: bumblebee image by Sergey Baranov from

Bumblebees and yellow jackets construct their nests, lay eggs and store pollen in cavities in the ground. As the eggs hatch, they feed on the stored pollen and grow into worker bees. These bees may become nuisances as they start to emerge from the nest in the springtime. If you want to eliminate them for safety or comfort, you must exterminate them. Then remove the hive to ensure that new bees will not try to rebuild it.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pants
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Short hose
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Shovel

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Put on long pants, a long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves. A beekeepers hood is also handy, in case the bees begin to swarm.

Locate the hive. Bumblebees nest underground, in abandoned animal dens or old rodent burrows.

Approach the nest during a period of low activity, typically during the early morning or evening. During these times you are more likely to trap the majority of the bees in the nest.

Insert one end of a short hose into the opening to the hive. Use a pocketknife to trim the hose so it does not protrude from the ground. Pour a solution of laundry or dish soap and water into the hose. Cover it with a shovel full of dirt. Work quickly, in case bees start to swarm. Ask someone to assist you to expedite the process.

Watch the area around the beehive for activity every day for a week. When you are sure you have killed the bees in the hive, dig up the nest using a shovel. This ensures that new bees will not attempt to rebuild it.


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