Help with bumbles

Asked July 2, 2017, 1:30 PM EDT

I have what appears a nest of bumble bees that have taken up residence in my compost bin. They're very docile but I don't expect that to last when I need to turn the bin this season, i also worry about stings with my 2 dachshunds that like to stick their nose in places they should not. Short of the online suggestions I'm finding that involve killing them, is there any way to encourage them to move that won't end in me being stung?

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Untended compost piles are one of the favored sites for bumbles to nest. Unfortunately, the bees ae unlikely to survive if the nest is moved.

If you would delay turning, and/or using, the pile until December, the bees will be gone of their own accord. The normal cycle is for all the bumble bees in the nest, except for the newly mated queens, to die by December 15. Those new queens locate shelter elsewhere to remain safe from the effects of winter.

As you mentioned, bumble bees are very docile. They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Perhaps you could create a “safe zone” between the bumble nest and your dogs by setting up a temporary fence, of sorts with, possibly with some stakes and chicken wire.

See “Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators” http://ext100.wsu.edu/gardentips/2014/10/16/protecting-the-bees-other-pollinators/