Good Bees--Bad Bees??

downeastwavesAugust 12, 2004

Hi a group of bee type critters have decided to set up a home between our electric meters.

My neighbor and I were tickled to see them as we have not seen any bees until now and our tomato flowers have been falling off and we figured because there were no bees to polinate them, well the bees came and so did the tomatoes.

Many folks have told us we should get rid of the nest.

It is grayish and papery looking . The bees are biggish much faster than a bumble bee and have black and white horizontal stripes on their rear part.

Anyone KNOW what kind they are and if they are good bees??


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SilverQueen(Z-5 Maine)

I get hornets nests attached to my house that I have to destroy every year. The nests are gray and papery. Are they hornets?

Siver Queen

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 8:12AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

Sounds like hornets. Be careful.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 8:46AM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Yes, they sound like hornets or wasps. Overall they are OK in the environment, but near your house they are a sting hazard and a nuisance. And I don't think they will pollinate your tomatoes or anything else. Be careful destroying the nest. You have an insect sting risk, and the proximity of the electrical equipment could be a problem too.

I am fortunate enough to have bumblebees pollinating my tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, etc. I leave them alone and they leave me alone.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 11:35AM
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luvmyducks(z5 ME)

If you have children or pets, I would definitely get rid of the nest. Hornets are very aggressive and will sting without mercy. My poor little dog got into a nest and her whole face swelled up with the stings. She was OK after the vet gave her a shot, but it must have really hurt. And I've had them chase me over 100 feet and into the house. They really are nasty.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 1:45PM
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SilverQueen(Z-5 Maine)

I always have an escape plan in place whenever I have to destroy their nests. They get mad, and they will chase you. I use a really long stick to knock the nest down and smash it, then I run for the house. The earlier you find the nest and destroy it, the better.

Silver Queen

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 6:32AM
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I saw my neighbor remove a large nest by putting on elbow length leather gloves and then he encased the whole nest in a plastic grocery bag and plucked it off the wall. Also, I don't know if it's too late once the queen gets established inside the nest, but I have great luck with trapping. You can use a plastic wasp trap they sell in hardware stores with a little fruit juice in it, I think mine were 2 for 6 dollars or something. Or you can make your own by cutting the top off a plastic soda bottle, invert the top so the spout is down inside, duct tape all around to hold it together, then pour in some juice. Like I say, I put out the traps in spring, so the nest never happens. I don't know if it's too late now that there is a nest. I also get them nesting in the ground, it looks like an anthill but the hole is bigger and perfectly round. I take the tops off my big Yankee Candle glass jars and plonk them down over the hole, or I cut small plastic Poland Spring water bottles in half and screw the halves into the ground right over the hole. I leave them on the ground for a week or so until there are no more wasps flying around them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 1:06PM
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Wasps are quiet on cool nights. Removing a nest then will lessen the odds of being stung.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 9:03AM
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chicken_lady(z3/4 Maine)

White ass hornets...bad news! I got stung by one last year that had a tiny nest in my arbor. Got me right on the side of my face, the temple area to be exact. Thought someone had hit me side of the head with a baseball bat! Why would you subject your meter reader to that anyways, they might be allergic? They won't go read your meter while that is there probably, but estimate your usage instead???? Get rid of the nest!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 2:57PM
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maineflowergirl(z4 Maine)

I have had hornets' nests that I killed off with the product they sell that will spray a straight stream up to 25 feet away! I know that many people don't like using insecticide, but I did not want the hornets nesting on my house. They weren't big nests yet, though, maybe only 3 or 4 inches across. It killed ALL the hornets and then I just safely knocked the papery nest down later. This is is good to use when the nest is in a place that you can't safely reach too where some of these were.

I have had wasps nests in the ground that I couldn't see at all until too late and they had stung me. Wow, they HURT! I used the same product on them spraying the stuff right into the hole from a long, safe distance away. Wasps are MEAN but I was meaner! The stings hurt for a week and were hot, red and hard. Ouch.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 6:20AM
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Sounds like these are bald face hornets or something like em. I am no expert but they make paper nests and are a fairly large hornet with black and white marking. They are nasty little buggers. I got stung by one and thought someone had set my arm on fire. If it was away from your house why bother them but since they are on your house why take the chance of you or someone else running afoul of them.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 10:00PM
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