How to Deal With Ground Bees

Ground bees are very different from honey bees. Honey bees are quickly going extinct, and their hives should never be tampered with except by a beekeeper. Beekeepers will gladly remove honey bee nests and will sometimes do it for free. Ground bees are longer than honey bees and are much, much more aggressive. It you are attacked by ground bees, which are often referred to as Yellow Jackets, they do not usually give up. Running and flailing your arms will only make them even angrier. A groundskeeper friend told me that it was best to just stand still and take the hits, as he called it. He claimed that you will get stung a few times and that they will then leave you alone. Personally, I don’t want to get stung at all!

Ground bees burrow hives into soft soil or into wood or other places that they can find a safe sanctuary. This, unfortunately, means that they will go wherever they can. It may be your yard or your home. Since they are extremely aggressive, this means that you have to be extremely careful once you have discovered their nests. 

I have read a ton of horrible ideas on how to deal with their hives. Ideas from pouring gasoline into their nest to sticking road flairs into the hive may work, but are completely dangerous and foolish. When I found the nest in our side yard, I first tried a powder that I got from my local hardware store. You are supposed to dust it around the nest at night, and during the day, they track the poison back in and kill off the entire hive. I added more every night for a week and there was no change. I then tried a spray foam insecticide. This worked, but only as long as the bees dove into the foam. Once the foam was gone, they were back to work as usual. A few more cans later, I was looking for a better and cheaper idea. So, I listened to the advice of an old friend of mine and covered the hive a 6 foot by 6 foot clear plastic drop cloth. I weighted down the sides with a few scrap 2 by 4s and waited. The next day, they were trapped, and ticked off! But a few days later, they were dead. Just to be safe, I waited an entire week before removing the drop cloth. I haven’t seen a bee in that area again!
Some quick tips: Only approach the hive at night when they are dormant. During the day, you can mark the nest with a brightly colored object (like a Frisbee). Anything that you can toss from a safe distance that will help you locate the nest again at night. And, if you are allergic to bee stings, get someone else to do the dirty work!
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