Mailbox bees

Port Norris, NJ(Zone 7b)

About 2 years ago a single bee took up residence in the mail box post.
We plugged the hole, then got a metal post. Ripped out all the flowers on the
fence a few feet behind the mail box. So no flowers within 6 feet of it. (Either
side of the path to the house has bulbs) Found out today when I was raking the
bee is still hanging around and now there are 2 of them.

I realize its not the same bee but a progeny of unknown generation.

Yes, this bee & his pal are aggressive and zoomed at me even though I was
raking a good distance away. I'm afraid my rural carrier is going to get stung.
More than once she rolled her window up and pulled around to the side of my
home to deliver.

I don't want to kill them but is there anything that will entice them to find another
home? There's a lovely groups of lilacs 50 yards away as well as a mature
butterfly bush. But they don't seem interested. In fact, there's an acre of land and
this is the only place the bees hang out !

Please help I'll listen to any suggestions.


Bedford, VA(Zone 7a)

Maybe they're drones and you have a drone space going on? Although usually the drone hangout is pretty high up in the air. Can you get a picture? Just wondering if they are actually yellowjackets and not honeybees

Highland, MD(Zone 7a)

You don't say what the bees look like? Wasp have narrow abdomens, bees are more rounded. There are so many species of bees. Mason bees can look like honeybees and they are solitary, they make their nest in reeds, holes in wood, just about any cavity that is small enough to fill with mud and pollen. One mason bee though can produce more bees, so a couple hanging around wouldn't be that big of a surprise. They are native to the USA.

If it's a large bee, that looks like a giant bumble bee but the 'butt' is shiny and not fuzzy, they are carpenter bees and they nest in wood. They don't eat it, they just tunnel through it to make channels to lay eggs in. The males can't sting, but the females can if really provoked and it's a heck of a wallop.

Drone congregating areas are typically up high in the trees and drones return to the hive each night. Honeybees can't survive outside of the hive for very long, if at all especially if the temperatures are cooler, they need the heat of the hive to stay warm.

Most bees are very docile and won't fly at you,mason bees don't sting and honeybees do not want to sting ever because it is literally suicide for them. Carpenter males when battling for territory or a female can run into you easily. Wasp are another story, they can be very territorial. Bald face hornets which are black with a white face are outright grumpy and will fly at you unprovoked, European hornets while huge are very gentle unless you hurt them.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Given that the first sighting was in a hole in a wood post, I would think this is one of the wood boring, solitary bees.

No matter what kind of bee, I do not know if it is possible to tempt them away from a chosen home by planting or not planting certain flowers nearby. Most bees fly all over the neighborhood to forage, so ripping out the flowers in the mailbox garden did not accomplish anything.

Probably the best thing is to reduce possible homes near the mailbox (replacing the post with steel is good) and provide a home away from the mailbox, such as in the back yard.

There are many ways to provide a home for these types of bees, so ID it, then research what to do.

The basic concept is to drill some holes in a block of wood and mount it in the right spot.
The details will include the diameter and depth of the hole, and where to mount it. These will vary with the species, though there is considerable overlap.

Another way to do this is to make a slurry of mud and stick a lot of sticks in it. Especially sticks with soft or hollow centers, like almost anything in the Apiacea family. If you use wood, then drill it out. A block can hold dozens of sticks, and they can be different sizes. See what sorts of bees you attract.

Port Norris, NJ(Zone 7b)

Due to illness I have been away from DG for awhile.
I do thank all for answering my post.

After I googled the various bees mentioned it resembles the carpenter bee.

I'll certainly take all the suggestions and give them a shot.

Tempe, AZ

My friend owns a bee removal company ( in Arizona and apparently bees love to get inside mailboxes! And sprinkler valve boxes... who knew!

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