i plugged them up in the garden shed for the
past four days with no access to water or the
outside and sucked up all the returning foragers
in the vaccume... Ma had to get in there for
something and said they're still in there.
i think some type of mason bee. can sting
more than once. bugger got me before i got
her once in the heel and once on the end of
the index finger of all places. luckily the
sting wore off in a few hours. not allergic.
ok today will be a busy day. hope everyone
is doing well? :)
I've had trouble with yellow jackets. They are not pollinators and have
no reason to live.
In past years, I was not allergic but last couple of stings caused
swelling and one on the finger sent me to the doctor for prednisone as
whole hand swelled up.
Benadryl and maybe one of those sting pens are a good idea.
I have to disagree with part of your first statement.
While yellow jackets do little in the way of pollination, they do have
a reason to live as they are a valuable asset in one's garden. They
are great garden pest eliminators who use the spoils of their
victories as food for their young.
If you're a gardener, here's an article that may change your view of
the yellow jackets.
Southern Ontario, Canada
Once upon a time on usenet firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
"The food demands of growing yellow jacket colonies are so great that it has
been estimated that more than 2 pounds of insects may be removed from a
2,000-square-foot garden by yellow jackets."
That sounds impressive huh? Two pounds of insects!!!
However it doesn't say over what time period, what type of garden, what size
colony is needed to acieve that and it doesn't mention that a large
percentage of those insects eaten will be (other?) beneficial insects such
as aphid eaters. Oh, wait ... It says "it has been estimated"! By whom? With
It also doesn't mention the fact that yellowjackets can bypass caterpillars
chemical protection so that they'll always go for the easy-to-see
caterpillars such as monarch butterfly larvae. I grow plants specifically to
nurture several species of ornamental butterflies and the wasps always take
their larvae but never seem to find the well-camoflaged larvae of 'pest
species' such as cabbage white butterfly.
Wasps will completely eradicate a large population of monarch butterfly
larvae while my vegetable crops get eaten to the ground by hornworms and the
like which the wasps never touch.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
when i was growing cabbages, i would sit and
watch the wasps gather the eggs and worms. they
did help, but not enough to get them all.
yes, nothing seems to get the tomato worms
other than me. i've yet to see any signs of the
parasitic bug that supposedly will use them as a
there are at least two tomato worms out there
that i have not found yet, either it is too late
and they are done and back in the ground or they
are being particularly sneaky. oh well, it's ok
nice rain today and some yesterday too and the
day before plus i watered that morning so the ground
is finally getting a good soaking. it's been a few
months of too dry weather.
a nice day for reading and frogging around here. :)
In our Louisiana garden we had to patrol two or three times a day for
tomato worms, have not seen one here at all. We do have a large
population of barn swallows, purple martins, and other insect eating
birds during the day and, at night the bats come out. I know they've
been eating the mosquitoes and have seen them take moths and butterfly's
both. Of course our tomatoes are out now, temps running into 100+ almost
daily. Crowder peas have been pulled, the original cukes are gone but
the new cukes are blooming like crazy. We still have four pepper plants
that are producing but the fruit is much smaller due to the heat. I'm
ready for cooler weather, if it wasn't for AC we couldn't live here.
That being said I grew up in SE Texas and we only had fans, attic fans,
floor fans, any kind of fan we could get. We must have had 20 or more
screened windows in that old house and there was generally a light
breeze blowing, thank goodness for that. My folks had never had AC until
1957, I turned eighteen that year and was in the Navy, who also didn't
no reaction to the stings. no need.
the wasps, hornets, etc. here are very frequently
seen on the plants looking for caterpillars. the one
year i grew cabbages they helped by finding eggs and
worms from the cabbage moths. i enjoyed watching
them (unfortunately they didn't get them all) hunt
i've been stung so rarely here that it surprises me
actually. there's a lot of bees here and many other
species too. honey bees (there are six hives about
150ft away), etc. stung about five times in all the
years and two of those were the other day from the
same bee. all the rest were because i'd grabbed one
or had it caught in my clothes. the rest of the time
i'm out there there's bees just a few inches from
my face or hands and they don't bother me. i don't
swat at them... perhaps also because i tend to be
rather calm and deliberate in my motions. i don't
weed whack or thrash about... :) don't mow either.
We have carpenter and mason bees all over the place, have never been
stung by one. After their young hatch and move on I use the pressure
washer to knock down the old mud houses. Carpenter bees don't bother us
as our eaves, etc. are concrete board and they can't drill it.
Our old house had to have the eaves completely rebuilt due to carpenter
bees and the squirrels eating into the attic to nest. Replaced those
eaves with concrete board and solved the problem.
Still picking them peas twice a day. Tomatoes have about played out but
sweet peppers are going crazy still. We're getting temperatures in the
mid to high nineties almost every day now.
we've had some carpenter bees once in a while.
i just caulked the holes. the new stain on the
house seems to have kept them away from doing
more damage. all the siding and trim is western
red cedar with several coats of stain on it.
so i don't consider it enough of a problem to do
them being inside the shed is the problem.
they have snails in FL that eat concrete now.
between those, fire ants, crazy ants and roaches
i can't say the south appeals to me at all. i
like ants and all that, but i don't want to have
that level of warfare with them... the phorid
flies can help slow them down a bit.
all the garden plants here are doing well with the
sunshine, but the lack of rain is tough to keep up
with the watering for this many gardens. almost the
complete opposite of last year (where we had regular
rains i don't think i had to water much after getting
We haven't had that many carpenter or mason bees since we moved here. In
Louisiana I made several carpenter bee nests, a short piece of four by
four pine, drill holes into it of a certain size, which I don't
remember, the carpenter bees will do the rest. We made mud pans for the
mason bees and I made a hollow four by four with four one by fours about
a foot long for the mason bees. Both of those are good pollinators.
I lived on the East Coast for nearly four years while in the Navy. I
prefer the south, mostly nice people, good food, decent weather except
in the summer. Heck, I never saw snow until I was 18, don't miss it either.
I just went to get the mail, black clouds to the south, east, and part
of the north. Hopefully we will get some more rain this evening. This
time of year rain means a somewhat cool spell for a while. I need to
pick peas again but it's to darn hot out there, may wait and pick by
Sounds more like some kind of wasps or hornets, maybe Yellow Jackets.
Mason bees are solitary and absolutely non-aggressive, only sting as a
last resort. They don't live in colonies and don't produce honey like
honeybees. However, they are far more efficient pollinators than
honeybees and are great to have around the garden or orchard.
Southern Ontario, Canada
i know all of those quite well. we have a lot
of wasps, hornets, yellow jackets around.
then it must be something else because there's a good
number of them in the wall when i bump it.
no, it's some type of small bumblebee, i called
it a mason bee because i've heard someone else call
them that. i'm trying to id it now, but i don't have
a dead one to look at (i don't want to open the vaccume
:) ). until later i'll have plenty to look at when
they're all dead. i don't know how long it will
take for me to kill them off if they can't get out to
get water and it will be hot this weekend...
i've seen them nest in holes in the ground or in
rock walls, this is the first time they picked the
in the many years i've been here and with the many
bees around i've not been stung that often (perhaps
five times in all these years). the one that got me
was very aggressive, i don't know if it was the same
one that stung Ma, but eventually i was able to squash
it when it kept going inside my croc (it must have
sprayed something on the croc because it really went
after it). unfortunately the squashing of it also
meant it was not identifiable...
i work in many gardens with bees just a few inches
from my face or hands. i like them, would not really
want to kill any of them. even the hornets, wasps,
etc. are plentiful here. they like the large rocks
and build nests behind or under them. then once in
a while the raccoons come through and pull the nests
out and eat them. they must be able to smell them
or something. i have to go around the house once in
a while and knock the nests down.
the ones that do mud on the rock walls i leave
(mud daubers?) and the ones that do the plugs i leave
alone too. i like them, they're black or bluish and
very shiny and pretty and i also like how they flit
around. they have a lot of character... :)
Are you sure these aren't yellow jackets ? You said you've seen them nest
in the ground , the only honey bee that nests in the ground is AHB's , those
are the africanized ones - and they will attack en mass when disturbed . But
you live way north of their range . YJ's are slightly shorter , more slender
and more brightly colored than honey bees . If slightly larger than honey
bees , I'm not sure , but around bumble bee size there are several
varieties, some of which have already been discussed .
If they are honey bees , going in with some smoldering rags (or put the
smoldering rags in a tin bucket and sit it just inside the door) will help
to short-circuit their alarm pheromone , making them less likely to attack .
You'll want to look for comb building , one identifier of honey bees . If
you see comb , call a local bee club and someone will probably come and get
them ... feral survivor bees are highly desired by many beekeepers . If
they aren't honey bees , you can probably kill them with one of the house
fogger canisters , might use 2 to be sure you give them a lethal dose .
I currently have 5 colonies (hives) of dark Russian varroa-resistant honey
bees , 3 of which have produced a honey crop for me this year - probably
harvest around 50-60 quarts . The other 2 were just started this spring and
are still getting their houses in order .
they are definitely not honey bees or any kind
of hornet, wasp, they look like small bumblebees.
and they can sting more than once (honey bees leave
their stinger behind). usually i see these kinda of
bees nest in the ground like under a piece of bark.
:) there's six honey bee hives 150ft from here.
people put them there and didn't even ask us. it's
probably either on or very close to our property
line. luckily we don't ever use that back part of
the property for anything, but it would be annoying
because they are blocking our access...
In that case , poison the little suckers in the shed . Good beekeeper
etiquette would be for the owner of those hives to contact you before
placing them ... if they're actually on your property without permission ,
you probably have legal recourse to either make the owner move them or pay
you for the use of your property . My hives are all within 50 feet of the
house and we rarely have any problems . They can be a little pissy during
times of dearth , but usually only bother us when I've been in the hives for
an inspection .
yeah, i got up early this morning and gave them
some trouble. it definitely knocked the population
count down, cuz now when i pound on the wall there's
not quite so much noise in there. then i got the
tools out of there i needed and plugged it all up
again for the day.
i gotta be diplomatic, yet get the point made...
friends own the property to the north which shares
the access road. i think they forgot completely
that we share that road... what i'm planning on
doing is telling them that it's ok to leave them
this season, but to not put them there next year.
they'd need to put them back another few hundred
feet to not be a problem if we need to use the
access cleared through the trees.
Damn Snag, you the man. I can honestly say I have never been stung by a
honey bee. Wasps, yes, bees no. One of my Dad's friends about sixty
years ago was a bee keeper and taught me how to handle them with a
smoker so we could get their honey. Brought back some good memories to
this old head. Now bumble bees living in the ground are another memory
and not so good, particularly when I drove the bulldozer over their
nest. Rascals hit me in my back so many times they knocked me out. If I
had known they were there I would have left them alone.
that would have been a nightmare! those suckers
hurt! i don't think i've ever been stung by a honey
bee here either, always either a hornet, wasp or
bumblebee and always my fault (except this last time
where she got me twice).
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