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What To Do With a Bee Nest in the Garden

bee nest in the garden

Ever been out in the garden, minding your own business, and suddenly realized there is a bee nest right in front of you?

If you’re like most people, this can be a scary moment!

But don’t worry—here are some tips on how to handle the situation.

Kinds of Bee Nests in the Ground that Sting

Did you know that not all bees nest in the same way?

While many people are familiar with honeybees and their iconic hives, several other bee species prefer to keep a low profile by nesting underground—and in your garden.

bee nest on the ground

Miner Bees

Miner bees (also known as “mining” or “digger” bees) dig tunnels in the ground and create chambers for their eggs.

They are solitary creatures, meaning they don’t live in large groups as honeybees do.

Miner bees are generally harmless and won’t sting unless they feel threatened, so it’s best to leave them alone if you spot one!

Plasterer Bees

Plasterer bees use mud to create nests in walls, tree trunks, and even underground.

These bees usually build their nests near water sources such as pools or rivers. Plasterer bees can also be quite territorial, so it’s best to exercise caution if you come across one of these guys!

buckfast honey bees


Honeybees are probably the most well-known type of bee out there.

They build their hives high up in trees or other elevated spots, but they have been known to nest underground from time to time.

Honeybees aren’t particularly aggressive, but you should still avoid disturbing a hive if possible.

Leafcutter Bees

Leafcutter bees get their name from their habit of cutting small holes out of leaves and using them as material for building nests.

These bees tend to nest either above ground or underground, depending on where they find suitable material for constructing their homes.

Leafcutters can sting, but only if provoked. So again, it’s best to just leave them alone!

Sweat Bees

These small metallic-looking insects will often land on exposed skin and lick the sweat before flying away again.

While this behavior can be alarming at first, sweat bee stings are usually mild and produce only localized pain and swelling.

Bees for Your Garden mason bees

Mason Bees

Mason bees construct mud nests in hollowed wood or other cavities such as birdhouses or old flowerpots.

Unlike honeybees, mason bees are docile creatures that rarely sting unless handled too roughly or stepped on—ouch!

Cellophane Bees

These bees prefer digging tunnels in sandy soil instead of building mud nests as other bee species do.

They have short tongues, so they don’t collect nectar or pollinate flowers. Instead, they feed on pollen grains directly from plants’ anthers (the part where pollen is produced).


Yellowjackets are one type of ground bee that stings. They make nests underground that look like small dirt volcanoes—which is why they can often go unnoticed until someone or something disturbs them.

Yellowjackets usually become active in the spring, and their activity peaks during late summer and early fall when they are most aggressive.

They are often mistaken for honeybees because of their yellow color, but unlike honeybees, yellowjackets will sting multiple times if provoked.

Bees for Your Garden bumblebee


Bumblebees also nest in the ground and rarely sting unless their nest is disturbed.

Only female bumblebees sting, so if you see a male bumblebee near its nest, don’t worry—it won’t hurt you!

And if you spot a tree bumblebee around your property, don’t fret. It won’t bother you, probably because it doesn’t even have a stinger!

Tree bumblebees are important pollinators, so it’s best to leave them alone unless their nest poses an immediate safety risk to those nearby.

Should Bees Nests Be Removed?

Bees are among nature’s most important pollinators, so you may have thought twice before disturbing a bee nest when you noticed it tucked away in your garden.

However, depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to remove them. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of removing bee nests from your garden.

One of the biggest benefits of getting rid of bee nests is that it can reduce the potential for disease or injury due to stings.

While bees are rarely aggressive, they will defend their nests if they feel threatened.

If there is a significant chance that someone could get hurt or fall ill due to an encounter with these insects, then removal is usually recommended.

The primary drawback to removing bee nests from your garden is that they can disrupt an important part of the local ecosystem.

As mentioned previously, bees are vital pollinators. Without them, some plants may be unable to reproduce and spread their seeds effectively.

Not only that, bees provide food for many other species in your area.

By eliminating their presence in your garden, you may inadvertently be reducing food sources for other animals as well.

Another potential downside is that attempting to remove a bee nest on your own can be dangerous and possibly even illegal, depending on where you live (some species of bees are protected by law in some areas).

It’s best to consult with an expert before attempting any kind of removal yourself.

bee nest in the garden management

What Do You Do if You Have a Beehive in Your Garden?

Bees are beautiful but pesky creatures that can be a real nuisance when they set up shop in your garden.

If you’ve found yourself with an unwanted beehive on your property, don’t worry!

We have a few quick and easy ways to make sure those bees are gone for good. Read on for tips to keep your garden bee free!

Leave it Alone if Possible

If you find a beehive in your garden, in many cases, the best option is usually to leave it alone.

If the bees aren’t bothering you or any neighboring properties, there’s no reason to take action.

Bees are extremely helpful creatures, contributing far more to their environment than most people realize.

They pollinate flowers and other plants so that resources can be replenished, creating an important cycle of life in nature.

It’s recommended not to interfere unless absolutely necessary—if the bees continue to swarm or cause any harm, then it might be time for an intervention.

Water Things Thoroughly

If there is standing water or dampness in your garden, it might be inviting for bees to build their hive nearby.

To make sure this isn’t the case, simply water your plants thoroughly and evenly to ensure that all water is absorbed into the soil.

This will encourage the bees to go elsewhere and find a different home.

Get Rid of Dead Plant Matter

Another way to deter unwanted bee activity is by getting rid of any dead plant matter in your garden.

Dead plant matter often attracts honeybees and other pollinators, so clearing away any old leaves or debris will make your garden less appealing to them.

Try to Avoid Pesticides

Whenever possible, it is important to try and avoid using pesticides as much as possible when dealing with bee populations.

These chemicals can harm not only the bees but also other helpful insects like ladybugs that may be living in your garden.

Not only that, but many commercial pesticides contain harmful ingredients that have been linked with bee deaths worldwide.

Provide Alternative Nesting Sites

One of the best ways to get rid of an unwanted beehive is to provide alternative nesting sites for the bees.

You can do this by setting up bee houses (or “bee boxes”) near where the hive is located. These provide a safe spot for the bees to move into, away from your garden.

The great thing about this solution is that not only does it help get rid of the hive, but it also provides an environment where you can observe and appreciate these wonderful creatures from a distance.

bee nest in garden

Carefully Move the Nest

Another option is to carefully remove the nest and relocate it elsewhere.

This should only be done if you are certain that there are no other options available and only after consulting an expert—after all, bees can sting!

Some companies specialize in relocating hives safely and humanely, so make sure to contact one if you decide to go down this route.

Cover the Nest with Bricks or Other Solid Materials

The most common way to get rid of a bee hive is to cover it with bricks or other solid materials.

This will prevent the bees from entering and exiting the nest, and eventually, they will die off.

Be sure to wear protective clothing such as thick gloves, long sleeves, and a hat when dealing with live bees.

Sprinkle Cinnamon

If you’re looking for an all-natural solution, try sprinkling cinnamon around the area where the beehive is located.

The scent of cinnamon is known to repel bees and can help get rid of your problem without using any harsh chemicals.

Use Water and Vinegar

Another natural solution is combining equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle, then spraying it over the beehive once a day until the bees are gone.

The smell of vinegar is also known to repel bees, so this method may be more effective than using cinnamon alone.

Be Patient

Even if you take all these steps, it may take some time to see results—so be patient!

The bees will eventually die off due to a lack of food and shelter, but it may take weeks or even months for them to leave completely.

what to do with bee nest in the garden

How to Prevent Bees from Nesting in Your Garden

Bees are essential for our ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean you want them nesting in your garden.

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep bees away from your garden without having to don a beekeeper suit!

Read on for some of the best strategies we’ve found.

Keep the Soil Dry

Bees tend to prefer moist soil because it makes it easier for them to create tunnels and nests.

To prevent bees from nesting in your garden, one of the best things you can do is keep the soil dry.

If you live in an area with heavy rainfall, consider installing drains or using mulch to absorb excess moisture.

This might be confusing since earlier, we said to irrigate the garden heavily if you had a bee infestation.

The secret here is that with the above strategy, you’re essentially flooding the bees out of their home. They like moisture, but not too much of it all at once!

Use Mulch

Mulch acts as both a water-absorbent material and a deterrent for bees looking for potential nesting spots. The thick layer of mulch makes it harder for bees to dig into the soil and build their tunnels.

Plus, mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, so even if there is rain or dew in the morning, your soil will stay drier throughout the day.

Try Weed Cloth or Plastic Barriers

If you have an area with particularly wet soil or where bees seem to be attracted to the nest, try laying down weed cloth or plastic barriers over those areas.

Not only will this help keep the ground dry, but it also creates an extra layer between any potential nesting sites and the ground itself.

This can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with large colonies of bees that like to make their homes close together.

Till the Garden

One of the most effective ways to prevent bees from building a nest in your garden is to till it regularly.

Tilling helps to break up the soil and aerate it, which discourages bee nesting.

You can use a tiller or hand spade, but make sure you’re not tilling too deeply or too often. Excessive tilling can hurt your plants’ roots and leave them vulnerable.

Deadhead Your Plants

Deadheading plants helps keep them blooming longer, and it also helps keep bees away as well.

Bees are attracted to flowers with nectar, so if you keep deadheading your plants, there won’t be any nectar for them to feed on.

Therefore, no reason for them to stay in your garden.

Get Rid of Brush Piles and Dead Wood

Another way to prevent bees from nesting in your garden is by getting rid of brush piles and dead wood.

This is because these are perfect areas for bees to build their nests in since they provide shelter from predators as well as food sources (insects).

By making sure there aren’t any brush piles or dead wood in or around your garden, you can ensure that bees won’t be able to take up residence there either!

Remove Rockpiles

Another way to prevent bees from nesting in your garden is to remove any rock piles that may be present.

Bees love dark, damp places like rock piles and woodpiles, so removing these potential hiding spots is key when trying to keep them away.

Be sure that all rocks and wood are cleared out of the area before planting anything else!

Bee Nest in the Garden: Final Thoughts

Finding a bee nest in your garden doesn’t have to be an alarming experience if you know what steps you need to take!

If possible, it’s always best not to disturb their habitat as they play an important role in keeping our environment healthy by pollinating plants and flowers.

However, if they’re being aggressive or causing harm, then there are several options available—from calling a professional beekeeper for relocation services or using natural pest control methods.

You can plant certain flowers or spray essential oil mixtures around areas where you want to keep them away from.

With these tips, now you’ll know exactly what to do when faced with this all-too-common problem in your garden!

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