Bumbled Salem Bee Call
2016 was a busy year for swarm calls but not all of them were about honeybees.
This call was from a lady in Salem, Mo. who said her grandson and dog were repeatedly stung by honeybees the day before in her yard. They had contacted an exterminator but he had told them he couldn't kill the bees if they were honeybees so she needed someone to tell her what was doing the stinging.
My bee buddy David and I headed to Salem, swarm equipment in hand, as usual but not expecting to use it on this call. We usually quickly respond to calls for swarm removal so we keep our equipment handy.
There were some tell-tale signs that these weren't honeybees. The report of repeated stings was a sure sign they might have wasps. If the exterminator wasn't following up, though, that suggested a further identification issue.
Once on site, we found a front lawn full of blooming white clover. We checked under the parked red truck and found several bumblebees flying out of the door hole. David also checked under the truck but no honeybees.
I followed several bumblebees around the garden and crawled under their wooden porch to find a couple of dozen bumblebees flying around the area under the deck. Bumblebees are usually ground nesters so we suggested to the homeowner that they move the truck, they may have parked it over a bumblebee nest.
Secondly, that they watch where the bumblebees are going in under the porch and ask for exterminator help.
These were definitely not honeybees and they were not swarming.
At least it was a pretty day for a country drive!
Have you noticed bumblebees in your garden?