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
Thanks for any suggestions on how to get rid of them.
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
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.
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
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
"Yellowjackets also live in the
ground, nasty buggers, but they aren't pollinators. "
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 08:49:53 -0400 in
graced the world with this thought:
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?
Probably digger bees that are solitary bees that nest near others that
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.
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).
Photos of the wasp in the action movie:
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.
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.
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
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