Return to the Bees and Beekeeping Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

Posted by marilano California (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 9, 07 at 18:48

I recently discovered (in mid-August) a ground nest or hive of either bees or wasps (or possibly yellow jackets). They're in the ground between an impatiens and a daylily; they fly out when I water that area of the yard. They seem to go straight for my hair--which is scary--although I haven't been stung yet (and one went up my blouse sleeve and came into the house before I realized it--but didn't sting). I seem to have more of them every day, although so far only about a dozen fly around when I water. I'm not sure if they're bees--which I definitely wouldn't want to kill given the bee shortage--or wasps, or yellow jackets. They aren't very big--about 1/2 inch long. Any ideas? Most of the postings above say that ground bees go away in early summer--whatever my insects are, they only appeared in mid-August and are increasing in number now that it's early to mid-September. Any ideas about what species they might be and whether it would be safe or risky to dig up the hole? TIA for any replies. marilano

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

very likely yellow jackets. check online for pictures. You can usually get rid of them with a garden hose if they are really causing problems. Digging them up would not be a good idea until after they are dead.

RE: Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

Thanks, tonybeeguy, for the reply. I also posted my question to the California gardening forum, and the two people who replied there also thought these were probably yellowjackets rather than bees. I know I've also had paper wasps building small honeycomb-looking nests in my house's eaves, but these are definitely smaller insects than the paper wasps I've seen flying around. If they are definitely not bees (the good guys), I'll want to get rid of them. Do you know if the colony will die off in a mild climate in the fall or winter? marilano

RE: Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

  • Posted by ccrb1 z5 IND (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 15, 07 at 19:03

a hard freeze kills the colony. That may be no help to you

RE: Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

I've had problems with yellow jackets on the hillside when mowing the grass, got stung up on both legs before, then fully dressed with work boots and they didn't get me, but this day I wore a thin long sleeve shirt and they stung right through it. Got Stung all over my torso, front, back, sides and both arms. These yellow jackets here are really bad when provoked, they hung on my clothes and even followed me. Also don't know how a garden hose can get rid of them since we had been having heavy rains most of this summer and the yellow jackets are still here! I did try Hornet Killer, but that did very little if anything to these yellow jackets.

RE: Bees or wasps in ground in backyard?

My neighbors pour gasoline in yellow jacket ground nests. (They don't set it on fire: just pour it in.)

I have had mixed luck with Spectracide's hornet spray on a yellow jacket nest (though it always works well on bald-faced hornets' paper nests).

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Bees and Beekeeping Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here