Bumblebee Control: How To Get Rid of Bumblebee, Bumblebee Nests, and Stings?

Written by George Climer

Bumblebees can live just about anywhere. They also sting, which can be troublesome. If you have them in your yard, you might want to consider using some control methods, so their population doesn’t get out of hand. 

How to get rid of bumblebee, bumblebee nests, and stings? Effective bumblebee control requires treating the nest to control the population. To get rid of a bumblebee nest, try spraying garlic or ground cinnamon to repel the bumblebees away. You could also block the bumblebees’ access to their nest. Take caution when removing nests to avoid stings.   


If you have a bumblebee problem and need to know how to deal with it, this article is for you. It has everything you need to know to rid your property of bumblebees and bumblebee nests. We’ll also discuss how to treat a bumblebee sting and how to avoid getting stung in the first place.

Bumblebee Identification

Bumblebee Identification

Bumblebee Scientific Name

The American Bumblebee is known scientifically as the Bombus Pennsylanicus. They are large with three yellow stripes on their abdomens. Additionally, these insects carry pollen on their back legs in small pouches.

What Is a Bumblebee? 

A bumblebee is a black and yellow insect with distinct fuzz and stripes. The insects are very social and live in a colony under a single queen. Bumblebees have a smaller colony size when compared to other species of bees. For instance, honeybees have much larger groups.

Bumblebee Life Cycle

Bumblebees have a fascinating life cycle. They are social insects who live together in a nest and follow the orders of a queen. The worker bees are all also female.

In the spring, rising temperatures bring the queen bee out of hibernation. She spends the winter living there alone, as the sole survivor of the last colony. When she climbs out of the dirt, she starts feeding on nectar in flowers. 

When she’s stronger, the queen will search for a place to build her nest, collect nectar, and lay her eggs. After several days of keeping them warm, the eggs hatch into tiny grubs. They also eat the nectar the queen gathered. Then, they form a cocoon and transform into bees.

By the early summer, all the new worker bees begin building, cleaning, and guarding the nest, while others forage for pollen. As the nest grows, the queen stops leaving it, and focuses on laying eggs. Many of the new insects are workers, but occasionally another queen and males will hatch.

The new queens and drones (male bees) leave the nest and will mate sometime after. Then, the new queens will hibernate as fall comes around, becoming the new sole survivors of the colony, as the other members die during the winter, including the old queen.

How Big Is a Bumblebee?

The bumblebee size is typically between 0.6 inches to one inch. The queen bee is slightly larger than her worker bees. She has a more extended abdomen and legs.

How Many Legs Does a Bumblebee Have?

How Many Legs Does a Bumblebee Have

The American Bumblebee anatomy includes six legs, four wings, and two antennae. They have a thorax, abdomen, and head. Plus, this species has a layer of fuzz on them.

What Does a Queen Bumblebee Look Like?

The queen will have one yellow stripe on the thorax and another one on her abdomen. The queen is also larger than her workers and is usually closer to the size of the male bees. Although, her abdomen is going to be larger.

What Happens When a Queen Bumblebee Dies?

The queen bee is constantly releasing a pheromone, which stops the worker bees from reproducing. However, when she dies, it doesn’t take long for the bees to create a new queen. The colony builds queen chambers in their nest, which hold between 10-20 female larvae.

The workers feed the larvae royal jelly, which causes them to grow into queens instead of worker bees. The first larvae to hatch will kill the eggs. However, if two hatches at once, they will fight. There will only be one survivor, who becomes the new queen of the colony.

A colony is agitated, more aggressive, and can’t survive for long without a queen. If they fail to produce a new one quickly enough, the entire nest will die off.

Bumblebee Insect Nest

Bumblebee Insect Nest

What Does a Bumblebee Nest Look Like?

Bumblebees have smaller colonies than other bees, so they don’t need elaborate nests. They line their nests with insulating materials such as leaves, or animal fur, which causes them to look like piles of debris. You may also notice wax cells that act as honeypots for food storage poking through the debris.

How Big Are Bumblebee Nests?

Most of the time, bumblebees place their nests on the ground or in small, abandoned rodent holes. The nests are usually very tiny since the colony doesn’t have many members. 

Are Bumblebee Nests Dangerous?

Bumblebee nests can pose a danger, as bees will try to sting you if they feel threatened when you are active near their home – when mowing the lawn or gardening, for example. Attempting to remove the nest will likely result in you getting stung. 

Instead, wait until winter, when all the bees have left before removing the nest and filling the hole. Doing so discourages future bee queens from building a nest in the same spot in the following spring. 

How Long Do Bumblebee Nests Last?

A bumblebee nest will hold a colony for about a year. Towards the end of the summer, the new queens will leave the nest and mate. During the fall, the queens burrow into the ground to hibernate, and the rest of the colony passes away.

Bumblebee Insect Sting

Bumblebee Insect Sting

Do Bumblebee Insects Sting?

Unfortunately, you don’t want to touch the cute bumblebee insect, as they are likely to sting you.

What Does a Bumblebee Sting Look Like?

A bumblebee sting forms a red welt at the location you were stung. A white spot often appears at the center where the stinger got you. If you see a black dot, that is the stinger still stuck in your skin. You can use a credit card to remove the stinger by swiping it over the dot.

How Many Times Can a Bumblebee Sting?

Bumblebees can sting you multiple times. They don’t have a barbed stinger like honeybees, so the stinger can come out without detaching from the bee. However, only female bees can sting you. The males don’t have a stinger.

How To Treat a Bumblebee Sting?

After you are stung by a bumblebee, wash the site with warm, soapy water, then apply an ice pack to stop the swelling. You can also use an anti-itch ointment if needed to avoid scratching the area. OTC medicine also works.

Allergic Reaction to Bumblebee Sting

If you are allergic to bumblebee stings and you get stung, you may wish to go to the hospital. Signs of allergic reactions include:

  • Hives
  • Flushed skin
  • Pale face
  • Swelling in throat or lips
  • Severe swelling at the sting site

How Bad Does a Bumblebee Sting Hurt?

People say their sting hurts worse than a honeybee; they also can sting more than one time. You will experience sharp pain, then a burning sensation after being stung.

How To Control Bumblebees?

How To Get Rid of Bumblebee Nest in Yard?

How To Get Rid of Bumblebee Nest in Yard

To rid your yard of a bumblebee nest, mix equal parts of vinegar and water, then spray it onto the nest at night while the bees are asleep. Be sure your skin is completely covered. It should be mentioned that this method will kill the bees. 

If you wish to remove the nest without harming the bees, sprinkle ground cinnamon around the hive at night for several nights in a row. Eventually, the bees will get sick of the smell and abandon the nest.

How To Get Rid of Bumblebee Nest in Attic?

Get rid of a bumblebee nest in your attic by applying an insecticide spray to the nest. Spray it inside the opening of their nest at night, then leave and shut the door for a few days. You can repeat the process if needed. 

We recommend the HARRIS Bee Killer Spray since you can use it from a distance.

HARRIS Wasp, Hornet, Yellow Jacket and Bee Killer Spray, 20 Foot Stream, 16oz
  • Powerful Jet Spray - Aerosol effectively reaches nests up to 20...
  • Kills a Variety of Flying Insects - Effective for wasps, hornets...
  • Stops Wasps Instantly - The foam kills wasps on contact and...
  • EPA Registered - Registered with the Environmental Protection...
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use - In addition to outdoor nests, the spray can...

How To Get a Bumblebee Out of House?

To get a bumblebee out of the house, simply open all the doors, windows, and remove the screens. The bee should fly out on its own.

How To Get Rid of Bumblebees on Your Porch?

How To Get Rid of Bumblebees on Your Porch

Get rid of bumblebees on your porch using crushed garlic soaked in water in a spray bottle. Bees hate the smell and will leave if you apply it to your porch daily. You can also use ground cinnamon around the porch area. Remove any flowers from places you don’t want bees coming around as well.

How To Get Rid of Bumblebee Nest in Wall Cavity?

When a bumblebee nest is in a wall cavity, you’ll need to apply an insecticide to the hive opening over a period of three weeks. This needs to happen several times to ensure all the bees are dead before removing the nest.

How To Get Rid of Bumblebee Nest in Ground?

When a bumblebee nest is in the ground, rid of it by simply blocking the hole. The bees will abandon the nest while the rest stay trapped inside. If you want to trap all of them at once, make sure to block the nest at night. Wait until a season has passed before you remove the nest.

Best Bumblebee Killer Products

Best Bumblebee Killer Products

Bumblebee Spray

The Hot Shot Wasp And Hornet Killer allow you to deal with aggressive bees at a distance safely. You can also apply it to a nest.

Hot Shot Wasp & Hornet Killer Spray, For Insects Eliminates the Nest, Sprays Up To 27 Feet, 14 fl Ounce, 2 Pack
  • KILLS ON CONTACT: Hot Shot Wasp and Hornet Killer controls wasps,...
  • UP TO 27 FOOT JET SPRAY: With a jet spray that reaches up to 27...
  • NON-STAINING: This product is non-staining to most home siding...
  • FOR OUTDOOR USE: Apply at sunset when insects are least active

Bumblebee Repellent for Yard

The Spritz Peppermint Oil Spray For Bugs & Insects includes essential oils. It should deter bees from nesting on your property. You can also try crushed, soaked garlic for a natural DIY repellent.

Peppermint Oil Bug Spray for Home, Indoor Insect and Pest Repellent - Safe for Pets and Kids - Naturally Made with Essential Oils – 1, 16 OZ Bottle
  • Made In The USA
  • Grade A Peppermint
  • Safe To Spray Around Kids & Pets
  • works on 100+ household insects and bugs
  • High Concentration For Long-lasting Protection

Bumblebee Insecticide

If you are interested in using a powder insecticide, we suggest you try the Bayer Delta Dust Multi Use Insecticide. It works well against a variety of pests, including bees and wasps. You simply need to sprinkle it in the area with the bumblebees. However, you should be sure they are sleeping first.

Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide Dust, 1 LB
  • Delta Dust Bed Bug Insecticide - 1 lb.
  • Yield: 1 lb. of Delta Dust covers about 2,000 sq.ft.
  • Target Pest: Ants, Bed Bugs, Boxelder Bugs, Cockroaches,...
  • Active Ingredient: Deltamethrin, 0.05%
  • Cannot ship to NY or CT.


Overall, bumblebee insect control is easy. Bumblebee repellent is easy to make on your own, and you don’t have to kill the bees to do it. Indeed, bumblebees have been declining in population rapidly over the years, so we recommend you don’t kill them unless they are a danger to you and your family. 

List of Sources

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Bombus pensylvanicus (American bumble bee).

Hines, H. (2020) One of the most common North American bumble bee species is actually two species. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

Merchant, M. (2016). Insects in the City – Bumble bees. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Gardner, K., Klass, C., Calderone, N. (2004). Stinging Insects: Bumble Bees. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County.

Hood, M. (1998). Bumble bees around the home. Clemson University.