Bees in a shrub need a new home

Asked January 12, 2020, 6:24 PM EST

We have a shrub by our front door that is just buzzing with bees. I don’t know my bee species but they are small, quick and never a bother. Eventually the shrub they’re in will be leaving. We would love to have them stay but have no real interest in learning to care for or harvest hives. Is it practical to move them to a good permanent home elsewhere in our yard. Could do little maintenance things but not go full keeper.

Washington County Oregon pollinators

1 Response

Are the bees actively flying around in January? Honey bees nest in a cavity, such as a hollow tree, inside walls, or in boxes prepared by a beekeeper. However they only fly if the temperatures are approaching 50 degrees. Native bees nest in hollow stems, and underground holes. Bumblebees nest underground or in small cavities such as birdhouses. None of these bees would be active during winter.

If you cannot see any bees’ comb in the shrub, you should be able to transplant it at any time during this month through early March, while the shrub is dormant. Bees will find it elsewhere in your yard.

Now if indeed you see honey comb and live bees in the shrub, then I suggest that you contact the Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Association. A beekeeper in the club would be willing to remove honey bees.

Do you know what kind of shrub it is? Perhaps it is a food source only and not a nest site. Thus moving the shrub will not cause disturbance to any bees.

You might find this bee identification guide, Pocket Guide to Identifying Bees of Portland of interest. It was put together by Portland Parks and Recreation and The Xerces Society.

Enjoy reshaping your yard.