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Rural Gardening: wild bees in compost heap

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 2, Views: 32
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Baltimore, MD

January 20, 2013
3:16 PM

Post #9391585

A colony of wild bee took up residence in my compost pile. They look like honey bees. The entrance to the hive appears to be at the base of the pile. What can I do, should they be removed?
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 3, 2013
10:55 AM

Post #9407020

Well, it would create quite a problem for you when you turn the compost, or use it. Most honeybees are pretty peaceful unless they are defending their hive.

Honeybees usually look for a small hole as the entrance with a larger volume of enclosed space. They are not noted as diggers, they almost never hollow out their own nest space. At most they may do a small amount of chewing, such as removing tar paper inside the walls of a house or other building.
Does your compost pile have such a space that they would have moved into?

Maybe they are some other sort of bee that is more willing to dig?
Just as an example, I know they look very different, but Bumble bees would be much more likely to move in to a setting like that. Around here I have seen them in a pile of grass that a guy mowed and added to every week. I have also seen them under a deck, in many years accumulation of leaf litter.
Lubbock, TX
(Zone 7a)

December 9, 2014
7:23 PM

Post #9987091

Sure they are honey bees and not yellow jackets? latter makes nest in ground.

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