Bumblebees – In Birdhouse

Q: While eating dinner tonight on our open back porch, we noticed bees flying in and out of our handmade wooden birdhouse. These were not the large carpenter bees that bore into the porch railings. We had been watching and swatting those also. These were smaller than regular bumble bees, a little slimmer also. The pollen pouches were bright orange. When my son swatted one with his hat, the bee grabbed hold and stung the hat fiercely. What are they? What should we do about them? We vacated the porch when my son pushed a large rock into the opening of the birdhouse and heard angry buzzing.

A: I’m betting it’s one of the smaller species of bumblebee….they are the only ones I can think of that build nests in birdhouses and are vigorous pollen collectors.

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