ground bees

I've got ground (miner?) bees in the backyard. Generally there not a bother as they seem totally uninterested in my family, but they are expanding their range and digging up my lawn. I really just want them to go elsewhere.
Any ideas on you to get rid of them?
My local garden store said to use an insecticide, but my wife does not like that idea with the kids and I don't really want to kill them, just get them to move. I was thinging of pulling up the whole lawn are and mixing in some DE in with the topsoil (amending the soil a good deal at the same time), and then reseeding the whole space. Man, that'd be a bit of work tho.
thanks bob
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I had the same situation last year. I'm not into killing everything that moves, so I left them alone. Unfortunately, towards the end of the season, they got rather aggressive. I forgot about them TWICE and flooded the area with water. They came after me with a vengeance and I got stung all over my arms and legs. I might be more likely to exterminate them if they took up residence again in an area that I had to water or cultivate. If I had small children, I would also consider getting rid of them.
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Are you sure you were dealing with bees and not yellow jackets, your description of their behavior is more like wasps.
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Oh, you're right. They were yellow jackets.
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Yes, yellow jackets are notoriously aggressive ... best to rid the lawn of a nest or avoid at all costs.

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Depends on what one calls aggressive. Yellowjackets are not prone to stinging if their nest is not molested; they will probably never sting anyone who doesn't accidentally step on one or push up against it or intentionally harrass it. But if you're having a picnic they'll be very pushy about getting on any meat that's being prepared or eaten outside, there is no way to make them go away if there is meat in the vicinity, they are aggressive at scavenging meat.
If their ground nest is where children are playing & so apt to stomp on the nest & excite the yellow jackets enough to swarm, they should be gotten rid of. If they are close enough to make picnicking outdoors unpleasant, it hardly matters that they're not apt to sting in that situations, it's no fun to have them crawling all over the paperplates scavenging meat, so again the nest will need to be gotten rid of.
But if they're in an out of the way spot they are a benefit to the garden. Paper wasps are even more gentle & not pushy because they're not interested in scrap meat off picnic plates, & they do spectacular good in the garden preying upon pest-insects. Their paper nests are most often somewhere out of the way, but if they could be accidentally knocked into, the spot should be marked with a flag so no one bumbles into them. They are extremely docile & won't attack people who haven't first assaulted the nest. Their nest is transient besides; a paperwasp nest will be abandoned the same year it is made, &amp they'll never return to that spot. I regret that some years they don't nest in my yard at all; I am glad when they are here as they keep the garden healthy.
I'm less delighted by ground-nesting yellow jackets as they're too easily in the way & can disturb one's peace of mind despite that they they never sting unless stupidly provoked. The bald-faced wasp & paper wasp are so extremely docile that fearing them is just silly, & their nests are small enough there's never too many of them for comfort. But ground yellowjackets can have very extensive colonies & will get testy if any part of the colony gets molested. Also because they eat garbage & dead things, they're not as skilled at being predators of pest-insects as are paperwasps, though they do also prey on insects. For sedate transient paperwasps though, people should not worry about them & should be glad to have them, but if I had yellowjackets in the ground nearby I'd consider getting rid of those.
-paghat the ratgirl

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paghat said:

You will never convince my daughter of that. A yellowjacket flew into her, dropped in her lap and stung her during a zoo outing. She did not harrass it or swat at it.
She has been terrified of wasps ever since. Thank goodness she is a very intelligent girl and does not extend that fear to bees (or other insects). And she doesn't mistake bees for wasps.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Huge difference between ground nesting bees and German yellow jackets. Early in the season is when you usually see the ground nesting bees which as usually described as "gentle," as they nest in individual cells and don't have a communal nest to defend.
On the other hand, German yellow jackets, which start showing up in late summer, are quite aggresive They are probably the only insect in this area that I am truly afraid of.
For more information to identify which apian insect you're seeing, check out this Extension bulletin: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG3732.html
Good luck! Suzy O, Wisconsin, Zone 5
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Quite a benneficial insect actually. These are solitary bees and while it is possible to get stung it's not real likely. (solitary but gregarious)
Ask yourself this- has anyone been stung? The DE will probably have zero effect.
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Soap. Yes, soap. Non-chemical and works every time. Something in the soap makes the exoskeleton of the wasp just dissolve. I had a huge nest of them in my barn where they a total PIA to my horses and myself. Mix reg. dishwashing liquid with water and soak nest liberally. I used an Ortho Dial type sprayer for this.
CIndy

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