Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are beneficial pollinating insects. They are large round hairy bees that are often seen feeding at flowers in a garden.

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Bumble Bees are generally harmless, only using their sting when heavily provoked and are found in much smaller colonies than honey bees.

Sometimes bumble bees will build their nest in the sub-floors, roof voids of houses or other inappropriate place. If the nest cannot be accessed or moved then it may be necessary to destroy the colony.


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Bumble bees are regarded as beneficial pollinating insects. Only if a bumble bee colony is in an inappropriate place should destruction be considered.

  • Nests > Only control bumble bees as a last resort. The nests of bumble bees generally have only one entrance/exit. If this can be identified the colony can be destroyed by sprinkling or puffing the apicide into the entrance. The workers will then pick up the dust as they enter the nest and take it inside where it will kill larvae and queens.
  • You can contact a local bee-keeper that may be able to help on the safe removal of bees nests, see Apiculture New Zealand swarm collection contact list.

Did You Know Did You Know

  • Bumble bees are usually beneficial insects. They pollinate many plants including many of our crops. Their numbers have dwindling worldwide and New Zealand has been exporting colonies to Europe and elsewhere to try and re-populate these areas.
  • The scientific name of bumble bees is - there are over 250 species of bumble bees in the genus Bombus. Common species in New Zealand include Bombus terristris and Bombus hortorum.
  • Harry Potter fans: an old name for bumblebee was "dumbledor".

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