Need help identifying Bees nesting in old stump by house

Asked May 1, 2020, 10:32 AM EDT

We need help making a decision on what to do with bees that have decided to make a nest in an old stump 6-8 ft from our house. We need to clear all the weeds and overgrowth to keep the house safe during the fire season and we were hoping to plant in this area and get rid of the huge stump all together. I have an allergy to bees but know how important they are for our future garden. I can’t and don’t want to get too close to them so I’m not too sure what type of bees they are. They look like a larger yellow bumble bee but they could also be a larger honey bee? Is there anyone or company that can come out and help us decide what to do? Is it possible to get them to move on their own? I am looking at getting a bee suit that I can weed in to protect me. Will those even keep me from getting stung? Wilco has a suit that says it’s good protection for those working around bees nests. (The photo shows the entry and exit of the bees into and out of the stump that is completely covered by weeds) Please help. Thank you for your time.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

The first step is to determine exactly what species of bees/wasps are living in the stump and that means clearing away the weed growth. The time to do that is when it is cold and/or rainy when bees/wasps are not inclined to fly. If you are uncomfortable doing this, hire or barter with someone to do it for you.

Once it is cleared and you can see whether they are living in the stump, or the ground, that determines who you then contact. If it is wasps, call an exterminator. If it is bumblebees, I think you’re stuck with them for the season. If it is honey bees, then contact the Portland Urban Beekeepers and ask if they have someone in the club who will move colonies from structures or trees. Someone there also might be able to help with identification. Here’s a link to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s publication, “Common Bee Pollinators of Oregon Crops” which will help with identification efforts.

Yes, the bee suits from Wilco do add a layer of protection from stings. It is especially important to protect your face and head. The suits work well if you wear heavy clothing under them.

May your yard soon be free of stinging insects.