Bees may often nest inside basements because they find these spaces to be reasonably comfortable living environments. But why are these insects living in your basement? Also, how can you repel them? We've consulted with experts in insect communities, and here’s what they say.
Some species of bees, like bumblebees and honeybees, can sometimes nest in the cracks and gaps in basements. Dead bees in basements are usually signs of nearby hives. Homeowners can use natural solutions to deter these insects, such as the following:
- Garlic powder
- Peppermint essential oil
Bees in basements often lead to infestations, particularly when their nests are nearby. Continue reading to learn more about why you can find these flying bugs in your basement. We’ll also tackle the organic ways on how to prevent bees from nesting in your property in greater detail.
Why Do I Keep Finding Dead Bees In My Basement?
Dead bees found in your basement may be a result of certain factors like specific species type and their nest's location.
Dead Bees In Line With Species
Take note that only a handful of bee species often like the confines of basements and other enclosed living spaces. Two primary examples are bumblebees and honeybees.
A group of dead bumblebees in a particular area of your basement may become a relatively normal sight. This scene can be due to a bumblebee colony lifecycle, which starts in spring and ends in later summer.
But you might see one or two bees dying from their nests even if it’s still far from the end of their lifecycle. These unnatural deaths could be because of age or disease. You may choose to remove these lone carcasses by yourself, or you can let the bees handle the task. It’s because bumblebees will remove their dead members to preserve the nest’s hygienic conditions.
Honeybees also experience a similar lifecycle with bumblebees. However, honeybee nests may become susceptible to colony collapse disorder, which happens when a significant amount of worker bees leave the nest unattended, leaving the queen to wither and die.
Still, one or two honeybee deaths in basements or other places are rather normal. Honeybees will also remove the remains of their fallen without the need for human intervention.
Dead Bees In Line With Nest Location
Bee nests, particularly the homes of bumblebees and honeybees, can often survive in inclement weather. These roosts, along with the insects living in them, may even survive freezing weather. However, you may see dead bees in your basement if a nearby bee's nest fails to supply sufficient nourishment for winter.
Sometimes, the queen bee may also leave the nest by late summer to find a new nest. If so, the bees that fail to follow their queen during this time might not have the means to cope without the hive’s leader, resulting in their mortality.
That particular instance can occur if the nest is in or near a basement. Bee nests need to have a sufficient energy source nearby to combat the bad weather. Typically, basements are enclosed spaces, which means these locations don’t immediately provide the nutrients for bees to survive and thrive.
How Can You Tell Where Bees Are Coming From?
Homeowners can pinpoint if a bee infestation exists or an active nest is nearby. Take note that bees can come from different places, including below-ground, above-ground, and cavities. However, the nesting traits of bees will depend on their species.
At the time of writing, over 20,000 known bee species inhabit the world, and about 4,000 of them live in the United States. Take note that the varying species can have dissimilar physical and chemical characteristics when compared to each other.
For example, carpenter bees are above-ground nesters, which often like to live in deadwood like inside decks and porches. These bees have fairly large jaws, allowing them to burrow through reasonably tough surfaces. However, these bees can’t create nests in the soil.
On the other hand, most bees, such as the sunflower chimney bee (Diadasia enavata) generally like to nest underground. These bees create their homes in loamy soils, which can often be near dirt roads and irrigation canals.
Finally, cavity nesters, such as honeybees and bumblebees, will usually nest in tree hollows. For instance, the Apis dorsata and Apis laboriosa, which are Asian honeybees, generally like to create their nesting areas inside tall trees or vertical cliffs.
Aside from an active nest, other signs that bees are nearby are dark patches in ceilings and walls. These regions often signify that honeybees are within the area. If so, think about looking at other locations around the property for signs of bee nests. These places can include:
- Attic vent holes
- Cracks, gaps, and holes in walls
- Chimney exterior
- Bathroom and dryer vents
- Pipes, gutters, and plumbing systems
What Kind Of Bees Make Nests In Concrete?
The bumblebee can create nests in concrete slabs, which include (but may not be limited to) patios, sidewalks, and basement walls. This type of bee will often have large, hairy bodies that usually have black and yellow patterns. Some bumblebee species will have orange or red instead of yellow in their furry exteriors.
Bumblebees would most often prefer wild green landscapes over concrete. But a study claims that bumblebees may favor concrete over lush regions because of the depletion of biodiverse environments.
Additionally, wasps may also nest in concrete. Although this insect isn’t a bee, wasps often have features that resemble different bees. Perhaps the main difference between these two kinds of insects is that wasps don't die from stinging. Also, these insects like to nest in different places, such as shutters, gas grills, mailboxes, and small concrete crevices.
What Is A Natural Way To Repel Bees?
Eco-friendly options exist to help you repel bees from your home. These natural repellants include:
Bees aren’t keen on going near places with strong garlic smells. Sprinkling or spraying garlic powder in strategic places can help repel these insects.
You can create a DIY garlic powder spray by following these steps:
- Mix 1 gallon of water and 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap in a container.
- Shake the ingredients to combine them.
- Cover the container with a cheesecloth and secure the contents with a rubber band.
- Add a teaspoon of garlic powder on top of the cheesecloth.
- Pour the water from the container into a spray bottle slowly. Make sure that the water touches the garlic powder for a proper infusion.
- Cover the spray bottle with its nozzle.
- Spray the garlic powder-infused water in different areas to repel bees.
Rue is a persistent shrub that grows above ground. Aside from its medicinal properties, this plant can help deter honeybees, particularly from other crops. But the bee repelling effects of rue seem to diminish over time.
Therefore, homeowners should stay vigilant as their rue plants may no longer dissuade bees at one point in time.
Peppermint essential oil can be a good repellent against certain types of bees. The strong minty smell of this extracted substance might be too much for bees’ senses, resulting in them leaving properties.
You can use a combination of different essential oils, namely peppermint, clove, geranium, and lemon grass to create a bee-repelling solution. Mix these ingredients with water and some dish soap. Then, pour the components into a spray bottle and sprinkle the concoction in different areas around your home.
As a word of caution, the peppermint plant may not produce the same effect. Planting peppermint can even attract certain bee species, leading to infestations. Additionally, mint plants can be invasive, which can also lead to ruining landscape designs.
For more information about how to prevent insect infestations, check out these posts:
Bee species like bumblebees and honeybees often like to make hives in cracks and gaps, which can include the crevices in basements. If you find a handful of dead bees, you may leave the carcasses behind as the colony will handle the removal of the remains.
However, dead bees can indicate that nests are within the vicinity. If so, think about using natural methods to deter these insects from your property. Using organic solutions like rue and garlic powder should deliver ideal results.