Bumble bees can be found throughout the United States and are typically black and yellow in colour, between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches in size and are fuzzy-looking. While bumble bees prefer to spend their time pollinating flowers and gathering nectar, they will sting if danger is sensed or the bee feels that it is trapped. Many bumble bee nests are found on the ground in a cool, dark place, which is why decks, foundations and other areas around the home are common places for bee nests.
Keep the yard, deck and surrounding areas clean of excess mulch or organic material that is soft, damp and cool and provides a nesting place for bees. In addition, do not leave flat boards, tarps, building material or other potential nesting areas on the ground or near the home.
Use flat stones, bricks or rocks only when necessary and check underneath them to make sure there are no holes in the dirt underneath the stone. Press the stones, bricks or rocks down firmly into the dirt to make sure there are no gaps between the item and the ground.
Spray the entire nest area well with a pesticide specifically formulated to eliminate bees, such as products that contain cypermethrin, which can be purchased at most hardware stores or home repair stores. Look for a pesticide with a hose sprayer, which will allow the nest to be sprayed from a distance. Spray the nest thoroughly until the surface appears damp from the pesticide.
Choose a pesticide dust for nests that are located underneath surfaces such as decks, rocks, stones or tarps. One brand name is Delta Dust and can be purchased at most hardware stores or home repair stores. Most pesticide dusts come with an applicator, which should be filled until half-full and then shaken gently to settle the dust inside the applicator. Aim the nozzle at the nest, squeeze the applicator and continue until the applicator is empty. Refill the applicator and repeat.
Treat bumble bee nests at dusk or after dark, as this is when the bees will be present and resting in the nest. Treating a nest during the day runs the risk of many of the bees being absent while searching for food.
Leave the nest alone for 24 hours following application of spray or dust-type pesticide. Watch the nest for the next 10 to 14 days for signs of any lingering bees. If bees remain, repeat the pesticide process.
Avoid using a lawnmower or other large, loud equipment to "mow down" a bee nest, as the noise and vibration will only agitate the bees and send them into a defence mode. Treat the nest first with pesticide and wait at least 24 hours before using lawn equipment on or near the nest location.