Yellowjackets.

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by MissNairne, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. MissNairne

    MissNairne All new, with added NAK!

    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Maine
    A mazillion of them have moved in to our side yard. :vent:

    I had planned to put in more veg plots in that area (its just uphill of our septic field and gets full sun). I hate resorting to chemical death, but I don't see what else to do. There are so many, with so many entry holes. :(
  2. peachypreen

    peachypreen New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    ughhhh I try to avoid the pesticide stuff if at all possible, but there are some things i just have to... yellowjackets/wasps/poisonous spiders... those... just can't do em. Sorry you have to deal with them! :vent:
  3. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I hesitate to say this because you are such an expert gardener. But are you positive they are yellow jackets? I ask this because I have a bee invasion in my yard that started a few weeks ago. There are probably thousands of them. They buzz all over the place like crazy and create holes in the ground about the size of a pencil. I thought they were yellow jackets, but it turned out that they are miner bees. Miner bees are active like this for only about 1-2 months in the spring. They dig holes in the ground for larvae and then you don't see them again until next year. The males cannot sting (most of the bees flying around are male - the females are digging the holes and doing their thing down inside the holes) and while the females can sting, they are non-aggressive.

    Tara
  4. houdini

    houdini New Member

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    I'm concerned that there is a hive in my ex's back yard as well. My 5-year-old was attacked by about 7 of them that came out of the ground last year. I squashed a bunch (which I never do), and they were definitely yellow jackets. Hope you find a way to get rid of them. :(
  5. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    A good way to tell the difference between the two, is that yellow jackets will dig a larger hole (noticeably larger than the hole you can make with a pencil) and many of the yellow jackets can be observed flying into and out of the same hole. The miner bees dig smaller holes (almost exactly the size you could make by shoving a pencil down into the ground) and you won't see groups of miner bees going into and out of the same single hole.

    Miner bees are one of the very best pollinators among all bee species, and since we've been having a major decline in our bee populations, I'm glad they are in my yard. We've walked around the yard a lot, right through their flight paths without trying to avoid them, for over a month, and they have not bothered us at all. It is a bit weird and scary at first, but I know they'll be gone in another 2-3 weeks.

    I hate yellow jackets with a passion - we had a nest in our backyard last year and I had to deal with it. I waited until it was dusk and the yellow jackets were all in their nest (not flying around). Then I basically drowned them with a hose, filled up the nest completely. Another time I put a huge planter on top of their nest entrance for a week or so - they all died.
  6. peachypreen

    peachypreen New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Wow, I didn't know that before! I'll keep my eyes peeled this year:)
  7. MissNairne

    MissNairne All new, with added NAK!

    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Maine
    I will definitely make sure they are yellowjackets, but they were there last year, and have spread further. The holes are about the size of a pencil, but the "bees" are active throughout the summer, rather than a short time.
    Hmm. I will say that they don't seem as aggressive as I would think yellowjackets would be...I will do some careful looking and research today. Thank you for the tip.

    Expert gardener? :) LOL I don't know about that. I have a lot to keep learning. ;)
  8. brayg

    brayg Evil Genius

    Messages:
    7,159
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Let me know what you figure out. I have some that have moved into the retaining wall that holds up part of our driveway. I am so worried that the only way to get them out is to tear it all up (which would be an insane amount of money). :(
  9. MissNairne

    MissNairne All new, with added NAK!

    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Maine
    Good news and lesson learned.
    Do not ask a bee fearing husband to describe a bee. LOL I should have known better. :lol:

    When I went out and observed the holes just now, I was able to see that these little guys are definitely NOT yellowjackets! Ben had sworn that up close they were very yellow and black. I am really laughing at myself because I know full well he won't really get close enough to be certain. :peeper: rofl


    So, we will happily be sharing our yard with these gentle pollinators. :)
  10. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    That is great! :) I'm glad you don't need to deal with yellow jackets in your yard, and also glad that you have a super-productive pollinating bee in your area.

    BTW, my miner bee activity has died WAY down even since I last posted to this thread. I was out working in the yard today and I think I saw about 10 of them, total. (I do see that some tiny ants have recolonized their holes!) I was even out barefoot for a while (it's 90 degrees here today, weird) and I really had to look to see the bees, whereas a few weeks ago it was like a swarm of thousands.
  11. mammakat

    mammakat harpy

    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Many wasps (and spiders!) are not aggressive and actually highly beneficial to your garden as they predate on squash borers, etc.

Share This Page