ground dwelling bees

Asked July 22, 2014, 11:22 PM EDT

I have bees, thought they were yellow jackets and was going to kill them but they are smaller, look a lot like honey bees. But they are living in the bottom of a planter about an inch above the ground. Any ideas what they are and should I leave them alone or exterminate them?

Marion County Oregon bees

3 Responses

They could be a species of bumble bees, but will really need a picture or specimen to confirm the identity. If they are not a threat then it is better to leave them alone.


I believe they're yellow jackets. Not sure how to get rid of them, I actually have two nests, the other is in a gopher hole. Afraid that if I mow around there later in the season they'll get mad. The gopher hole nest has larger bees. I guess there are probably different types of yellow jackets? They're a type of hornet actually, aren't they?

Yes it appears that you have yellow jacket nests. There are at least 3 or 4 different species of these wasps that are common in Oregon. Most of the yellowjacket workers die at the onset of cooler weather (November/December). Only newly mated queens survive the winter underground. So if you wait until October/November they may be all gone. If they are currently a threat and you need to get rid of them soon, then you may have to call an exterminator.