How to Remove Underground Bee Hives

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Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved shirt

  • Pants

  • Hat

  • Gloves

  • Short hose

  • Soap

  • Water

  • Shovel

An abundance of bees may indicate the presence of an underground nest.

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.

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Step 1

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

Step 2

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

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Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

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Step 5

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.

Tip

To preserve the ground around the hive, use an insecticide that is safe for use on a lawn or in soil. The University of Minnesota recommends using carbaryl or chlorpyrifos in dust form, since the dust reaches the hive more easily than a liquid. If you use a liquid, try carbaryl, acephate or diazinon.

Ground nesting bees like to settle in dry areas that are exposed to the sun. Sometimes you can get rid of the nuisance by wetting their nest with water, since these types of bees tend to avoid damp areas.

Liquid is easier to use where there is surrounding grass or mulch.

Warning

Do not attempt to use a lawn mower to get rid of a nest hidden in overgrown grass. The sound of the mower may agitate the colony and cause the bees to attack.

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