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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok. so this is the second summer in our new house. last year i didn't get my garden going d/t being pregnant and somewhat lazy, but this year i am determined to make it happen. only problem is, there are some sort of bees or wasps swarming around the ground in the only spot sunny enough for a veggie garden. i think they might be yellowjackets, only because i've heard that sometimes yellowjackets can be "ground dwelling". does anyone have any good way of getting rid of these without poisoning the ground? i just can't see digging a garden with them swarming all over the place. last year we tried just covering the area with dirt, but they just came right back.
 

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I ordered a whole bunch of cans of this. I really really hope it works since wasps seem to favor my property and I am deathly allergic to them


For a ground nest, I'd observe to find out where their entrances are and then spray at night when they are inactive. I'd probably lay down some boards over the entranc(es) too just to make sure they are trapped inside.

ETA: I found another link with some good ideas
 

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I am not sure if this would work but maybe pouring boiling water down the hole. Again I have not tried this but I think this may work and I would probably try it if I needed to. Please let us know when you find something.
 

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PLEASE identify them first. If they are bees, call around your area for beekeepers, they will come out and catch the colony and take them away oftentimes for free. They LOVE free bees. You don't want to kill them if they are bees. Make sure they are not bees? Please?

If they are yellowjackets or wasps... kill them. kill them all. lol
I have seen these things. I don't know if they work, but the concept is right on.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by salt_phoenix View Post
PLEASE identify them first. If they are bees, call around your area for beekeepers, they will come out and catch the colony and take them away oftentimes for free. They LOVE free bees. You don't want to kill them if they are bees. Make sure they are not bees? Please?

If they are yellowjackets or wasps... kill them. kill them all. lol
I have seen these things. I don't know if they work, but the concept is right on.
yes, definitely identify them first - this is a good point.

The waspinator in that ink could be made with paper lunch sacks filled with newspapers, you'd probably have to replace them after rain. I'd like to try it but the wind here wouldn't allow it
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, i was pretty sure they were yellowjackets, because i didn't think there were any bees that actually live in the ground. but i just learned of a type of bee (called andrenid bees) that make their nests in the ground, and i think thats what i might have based on the description. the good news is, if they are this type of bee, the males can't sting and the females are very docile unless threatened. of course, digging up their home would probably be considered a threat. supposedly, just spraying the area with water can sometimes be enough to encourage them to leave without actually hurting them- maybe i'll try that first. i wonder if any beekeepers would even be interested in this type of bee. don't they mostly keep honeybees?
 

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Subbing for ideas - we have little bumblebees nesting in the ground. They have red bums and are pretty aggressive - they stung my kids a couple of times last summer, so we'd like to get them to move somewhere else.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by akayerich View Post
well, i was pretty sure they were yellowjackets, because i didn't think there were any bees that actually live in the ground. but i just learned of a type of bee (called andrenid bees) that make their nests in the ground, and i think thats what i might have based on the description. the good news is, if they are this type of bee, the males can't sting and the females are very docile unless threatened. of course, digging up their home would probably be considered a threat. supposedly, just spraying the area with water can sometimes be enough to encourage them to leave without actually hurting them- maybe i'll try that first. i wonder if any beekeepers would even be interested in this type of bee. don't they mostly keep honeybees?
Most of the bees that live in the ground are solitary (bumblebees being the exception - see below). If they are Andrenids or another native solitary bee, they would each have an individual hole that they go in and out of. If it's a colony with one big entrance, I'd think it's either bumblebees or some ground-nesting wasp. If you can get pictures or describe them I'd gladly help you figure out what they are. (I'm a grad student studying solitary bees, so this is my passion). Feel free to PM me!

Oh, and no, beekeepers wouldn't bother with Andrenids. They're usually only interested in honeybees, as they're easy to relocate and readily nest in bee hives. Andrenids, if you mess with their nest area, will relocate to a new spot.

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Originally Posted by greenmansions View Post
Subbing for ideas - we have little bumblebees nesting in the ground. They have red bums and are pretty aggressive - they stung my kids a couple of times last summer, so we'd like to get them to move somewhere else.
Yeah, the red-bummed bumblebees can be fairly aggressive (they're usually in the group Ferrobombus, known for being some of the more aggressive bumblebees). If you know where they nested last year, you can try covering up that hole or area. Bumblebee colonies don't overwinter as a big group - they die off to just overwintering queens. You'll see big queens cruising around looking for nesting sites early in the season (when that is varies by location and when the bees typically emerge). That would be the time to make sure there aren't mouse holes or other good hiding spots for the queen to set up home in where your kids will be playing. Otherwise, if it's too late and they're already established, I'm not sure what to tell you. You can try to kill the colony by flooding it or spraying it, but then you'll lose pollinators in your area. Hope this helps!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kritto View Post
Yeah, the red-bummed bumblebees can be fairly aggressive (they're usually in the group Ferrobombus, known for being some of the more aggressive bumblebees). If you know where they nested last year, you can try covering up that hole or area. Bumblebee colonies don't overwinter as a big group - they die off to just overwintering queens. You'll see big queens cruising around looking for nesting sites early in the season (when that is varies by location and when the bees typically emerge). That would be the time to make sure there aren't mouse holes or other good hiding spots for the queen to set up home in where your kids will be playing. Otherwise, if it's too late and they're already established, I'm not sure what to tell you. You can try to kill the colony by flooding it or spraying it, but then you'll lose pollinators in your area. Hope this helps!

Thanks for the tips. Last summer DH tried to flood them out with boiling water with some success. They seemed to have more than one entrance to the hive (or else there was more than colony in the same area.) I'll look back there this weekend. I've noticed great big bumblebees around lately - we call them cruisers because they move so slowly LOL - but they are not the red butted ones yet.
 

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Originally Posted by greenmansions View Post
Thanks for the tips. Last summer DH tried to flood them out with boiling water with some success. They seemed to have more than one entrance to the hive (or else there was more than colony in the same area.) I'll look back there this weekend. I've noticed great big bumblebees around lately - we call them cruisers because they move so slowly LOL - but they are not the red butted ones yet.
The bumblebees could have had more than one entrance to a single colony, especially if the entrances are within a few feet of each other. And the "cruisers" are definitely new queens looking for homes - probably an earlier species than your red butt species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kritto, thanks for offering to help. i'm gonna try and get close enough to get some pics today, or at least a good description. i've seen lots of little holes out there, so i'm pretty sure they must be the solitary type. maybe the answer will be to spray with water to scare them off and then dig up the nests while they're gone?
i'll try and get back to ya with pics later.
 

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Originally Posted by akayerich View Post
ok. here's a couple of pictures. there's a chance the one on the dandilion isn't the same type of bee. but the one in the dirt is definitley one of my garden bees.
thanks for taking a look...
http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/u...allpics998.jpg
http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/u...allpics997.jpg
Great pics! Yep, those are definitely solitary bees in the family Andrenidae, probably the genus Andrena. Males are totally harmless, and females have a really weak sting and will rarely use it (unless being stepped on or squished). If you can, I'd leave them alone. They'll only be flying around and nesting for a few weeks, then the adults will die and the babies will be maturing in the nests underground until this time next year. But if they're someplace inconvenient, you can try either watering the area or covering over the holes with dirt - that may deter them enough to get them to move their nests. They won't get aggressive and attack if you mess with their nests - they'll just be confused if their nest entrances all of a sudden vanish, and will fly around a lot in the area, looking for the hole.

Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck!

I wanted to add that if you can work around or alongside them to get your garden started now, by the time it'll be really going all the adult bees will have died off for the year. The nests are usually deep enough that you wouldn't perturb them by turning the top 6" or so of soil, and any spring flowering plants (like fruit trees) in your area would continue to benefit from these bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hmmm.....good to know that they're not really worrisome, as far as getting stung.
to be honest, it'll probably be may before i really get any digging done anyway, so maybe they'll be done flying around by then. if not, we figured out that spraying the area with a hose makes them leave for 10-15 minutes, so we could dig while they're gone, then re-spray when they come back.
thanks so much for your help. this is something me and my husband have been trying to figure out for a long time.
 
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