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Hissing Bees??

I was cutting some tall grass in my garden this evening, and when I came to a certain section, I heard a rather loud hissing noise - which startled me as my instant thought was that I had a snake - which would be very unusual in my region. After some further investigation (shaking the tall grass) the hissing got louder and longer and I noticed two bumble bees emerge from the base of the tall grass.

Do bumble bees hiss? Is it likely that I have a rather large swarm settling - the hissing was incredibly loud and threatening.

I have consciously tailored my garden to be wildlife friendly, however the area they have settled (if it is bees) is rather impractical  and would look unsightly if i allow the grass to grow further.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    They don't usually hiss - you generally hear a low buzzing.

  • Thank you for your response Alina. There was a frog aswell in the grass, I watched that hop away and the hissing continued. I just thought it was a conincidence that 2 bees appeared as the base of the grass stems. I'm worried to be honest - I really hope it isn't a snake. It definitely sounds more like a loud hiss than a buzz. Whatever it is, it was angry and did not want me near. The problem is, its beneath my clematis, buddleia and bird bath - so it's an area I visit frequently.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Where are you in the world? The only poisonous UK snake is the adder, and that is usually fairly shy and won't hang around.

  • I live in St Helens, Merseyside. I had thought it unsual to be a bees nest - but then I am convinced  I read an article which described a bees nest 'hissing' to warn away predators such as mice if they enter their underground nest.

    My other thought was that it could be mammalian i.e. rat which would concern me, as I do feed the birds alot. I did investigate it somewhat thoroughly, and I couldn't see anything other than the 2 bees and a frog.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    I can only suggest that you check it again daily. If the sound continues it's more likely to be a bee than the other things you've mentioned and you might like to consult a local bee keeper for help.

  • Thank you for your advice Alina. I'll check it again in the morning. I'd rather it bees than a rat or a snake. It seems too coincidental that 2 bees crawled out - we shall see and I'll keep you posted.

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    It could possibly be the frog . They do actually scream like a baby crying . I know this to be true as my cat found one in my shrub border and I heard it for myself , They do this when threatened and it can be quite scary when you first hear it . If you google screaming frogs you will find info.Needless to say I removed puss and afore mentioned amphibian hopped it ! Just by way of interest , your little visitor ts more likely to be a toad as they are more common than frogs and both species  '' scream ''.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,957

    It may well be a bird - possibly a blue tit defending fledglings


    If you can bear it,  I'd leave that patch of grass and shrubs alone for a few days until the fledglings are old enough to fend for themselves - it looks to me as if your work to make your garden wildlife friendly has been successful - you've provided a birdbath and good cover for the birds with your clematis and shrubs - how wonderful! image



    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thank you for the updates. I have checked the site again this morning and the 'hissing' creature whatever it may be is still there and is still angry. I note now that there is a hole in the ground and a bee was entering it  - with it's 'baskets' filled with pollen. The frog/toad was back in the same place - so I can't be sure whether it's bee or frog that is hissing. Either way - I am leaving them alone. I hadn't considered Blue Tits - I have a lovely family of them in my garden at present.

  • Sue GoughSue Gough Posts: 23
    I had a 'hole in the ground' bees nest in the border last year. I was in the process of clearing all the plants as it was over run with PinkCampoin. I don't have very good hearing, so they may have been hissing, they were certainly very angry with me. The stings were very painful.

    Hope they don't return this year!
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