small bees in ground

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I noticed some small bees hovering around a spot at the edge of one of my garden areas. I tried spraying with wasp/hornet spray a couple of times, but they're still there. I'm allergic to bees and wasps, have to carry epi-pens with me at all times, and need to keep bees and wasps from nesting in my yard. I don't think there are not a lot of bees there yet, so it seems to me that now is the time to get rid of them.
Thanks for any suggestions on how to get rid of them.
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They're attracted to the flowers, and are doing what they're supposed to do. Either get rid of the flowers or learn to live with them. Also go back to your allergist and find out exactly what you're allergic to - no one is allergic to *all* bees, wasps and/or hornets, they're all different allergens. Many who think they're allergic to 'bees' are actually allergic to hornets (or yellowjackets, a form of hornet) and not to honeybees at all. Others are very allergic to honeybees. You need to know the difference.
Next time you whip out that spray think of what the chemicals may be doing to you, too.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann,
My allergist tested me for bees, wasps, hornets and I am allergic to all of them. Many people aren't. I am. I've been through the desensitization training, getting 3 shots a week for many weeks and am now getting the three venom shots every four weeks. The garden is not a flower garden, it's a small vegetable patch.
Whatever the chemicals in the spray might do to me, it is not likely to be as damaging as another allergic reaction to bee or wasp stings. Before I had an allergic reaction, I pretty much ignored bees and wasps. Now I can't. I eliminated most of the roses from the yard because of the bees, as well as much of the dense shrubbery. I look before I touch anything outside. I put my hand only on the top of railings in case there is a bee or wasp underneath. I normally do my yard work only when the bee activity is low, like early mornings. If I'm doing something like picking raspberries, I wear tennies with socks pulled up over my jeans, a sweatshirt and a beekeeper's hat. Only my hands are bare and I'm looking where I put them.
Because of the desensitization shots, I can probably tolerate one bee sting, but not the several that are likely to result if I accidentally step on a nest.
Keeping the ground wet as someone else suggested sounds like a good thing to try. It's been rather dry here this summer.
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You are aware, aren't you, that the bees are what pollinate your vegetables?
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Darren Garrison wrote:

Bees are not the only pollinators in existence. All small insects can accomplish pollination as long as they wander from blossom to blossom. Small birds are also pollinators.
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Some, but not all vegetables require to be pollinated to produce a food crop. This would include brassicas, potatoes, salads, and root vegetables. Of those food crops which do require pollination to produce a crop, many are NOT pollinated by insects at all, but by pollen drifting in the air. Such as, corn, and any cereal.
Finally, in environments where crops do require pollination but insects are in short supply, such as glasshouses and polytunnels, gardeners have used artificial means for many, many years; such as, tapping grape vine and tomato stems to make pollen fly, and dusting a rabbits tail around peachflowers
Janet.
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Well, keep in mind that most of the pollinators don't live in the ground in gardens, bumblebees do live in ground nests but not where people are cultivating gardens. Yellowjackets also live in the ground, nasty buggers, but they aren't pollinators.
I'm a two year beekeeper and a 35 year gardener and in all those years I have yet to be stung by anything. Don't move fast, don't flail around them if they're working your flowers, and I can practically guarantee you won't be stung.
Of course keep that epi-pen nearby! :o)
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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"Yellowjackets also live in the ground, nasty buggers, but they aren't pollinators. "
Guess again.
Yellowjackets and other wasps are pollinators just not as efficient as the fuzzy bees at the job.
Ground nesting solitary bees are generally docile, stopping to mess with you means their young do not survive. You could get stung if you pinched one or put it in your pocket or otherwise trapped it in your clothing, but that's the kind of effort it would take.
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No, I'll learn, but I'm not guessing. I thought they were carnivores. I didn't know they did any pollination. I still don't like them, they hurt.

Yes, that's what I was saying. Leave them alone and they'll leave you alone.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

The adults hunt meat for the carnivorous larvae..the adults feed off of nectar (doing some pollinating) and other sweet liquids along with sweet extracts the larvae produce.

I get at least a call a year in my business from people who have been stung by digger bees. Lots of times it's a barefoot kid that has stepped on one at the nest site, but would say more reports of their stings are from adults that had one get caught in a sleeve or neck line when they were apparently walking across the nest area as the bees were dropping down towards their nest opening.
Lar
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I've been stung by yellowjackets in ground nests while cutting grass. Last time ankle swelled considerably. Year before, one bit me on the finger and hand swelled so badly I needed cortisone treatment. Been bitten several times in the past but now it seems I've developed allergy.
Wiped out a nest or yellowjackets in a bush last week with two shots of wasp spray directly in the opening. For ground nests, I give them a good spraying and then make up a gallon of malithion spray and dump it in the ground. OP would need to get someone to do this for her but I've never been stung in doing this myself.
Frank
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Might as well be stung by airplanes, yellow jackets are NOT BEES
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No kidding, I think we all know that. Point is many confuse all of them.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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there is some theory that some people release pheromones that disturb bees and wasps. my DH (who carries an epi-pen) went to visit another teacher to play chess and instead was given a tour of his bee hives. he was suited up in a white coverall made of cotton and told they dont like synthetic and white is least disturbing color. a complete cover up along with a shower with unscented soap may be the least likely to attract or disturb.
as a smoker I am rarely approached by bees or wasps. they have those little canisters that produce smoke bee keepers use. perhaps one of those? if you do find a nest, run a hose from the car exhaust to near the entrance and maybe you can drive them off.
Ingrid

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On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 08:49:53 -0400 in

Quite possibly one of the most unhelpful, bordering on self-righteous posts I've ever read. No offense. By the way, how do you know NO ONE is allergic to ALL bees, are you God or something? Or did you simply ask everyone on Earth?
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janet wrote:

can create large groups. You can try keeping the area wet and they may move on. Otherwise you will have to saturate the area with an insecticide.
Lar
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Get some fire ants.
You may have to watch it on loop a few times to see it well, but watch around the middle right of the clip and you'll see a fire ant circling around the wasp's rear leg (left leg, right from camera POV). Then, after the wasp's (dramatic) reaction, note the ant scrambling around on the left side. (Sorry for the graininess of the clip, my digital camera supports only short, low-quality video clips).
http://webpages.charter.net/garrison6328/temp/wasp-vs-ant.avi
Photos of the wasp in the action movie:
http://webpages.charter.net/garrison6328/temp/wasp01.jpg
http://webpages.charter.net/garrison6328/temp/wasp02.jpg
http://webpages.charter.net/garrison6328/temp/wasp03.jpg
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I understand your concern, but you may be hard pressed to get rid of them. Perhaps the ones in the immediate vincinity, but not the ones that come from a ways away. Ground bees are pretty common and utterly harmless to us, I don't know about YOU, but I don't even think ground bees sting. Might have to weigh the risks vs. the benefits. Like putting on long sleeves, hat, and pants around the garden. Or ask yourself why someone with such dire allergies even has a garden.
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janet wrote:

Regardless of what others may have said about being "harmless" "pollinators" and all that other stuff - I know what you are talking about and from my experience in Central Maryland they are Aggressive and will attack if you get near their nest. I have been stung many times when mowing the yard and not even knowing they were there. Do whatever you can to get rid of the bastards. I am seldom stung by any other bee or wasp.
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Paul E. Lehmann wrote:

You sound like you describing the actions of true yellow jackets. They will often nest in the ground but they are a socialized colony using one nest with plenty of guards to attack any disturbance near the nest. Digger bees are solitary bees that will nest near other digger bees so you will have an area with many individual bee nests (small holes in the ground). The stingerless male is what is most commonly seen, and the female the sole provider of her nest is more times than not, away gathering food for her brood. I know a number of people that have been stung by them but all cases where happenstance rather than an organized attack.
Lar
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