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How to Get Rid of Ground Bees

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Authored by Donna Ryan in Gardening
Published on 10-06-2009

Ground bees can be quite annoying if not downright aggravating in the garden and the yard if they’re not eradicated. Looking like the smaller version of a yellow jacket, ground bees can cause a veritable ruckus when you’re trying to garden, work in the yard or relax on your patio. Adopting the abandoned burrows of moles and mice, the bees can build their hives from two inches to two feet beneath the ground. Easily annoyed, these bees can attack at a moment’s notice especially if they feel threatened – for example, by the growling rumble of a mower going over their otherwise private nest.

Normally bees shouldn’t be killed as they help with pollination and are generally good for the environment. Nonetheless, if bees are presenting a problem with regards to safety or if you have small children in your family, then it’s probably best that they’re eliminated. How do you do this? Many people have come up with their own interpretations as to how this task should be accomplished.

Some people suggest smoking the ground bees out of their nesting ground by lighting a newspaper that has been lightly laced with gasoline and stuffing it into the hole where they live. Others advise using a hose and submerging the ground bees’ living quarters with water. Still others recommend that scalding the bees with boiling water works the best. This is done by using a screen to cover the nesting hole then pouring the water in. Or, as sanctioned by some, the task can be accomplished by pouring soapy water down the small abyss.

If you don’t want to tackle any of the stinging creatures at all, it’s recommended you dispense of the bees by acquiring the services of a beekeeper. He can secure new accommodations for the ground bees by moving them to another hive.

Nonetheless, if you choose to smoke the bees out or drench them, it’s best that you wait until sundown when the bees have returned home for the evening. If you must, mark the spot of their return with a neutrally colored cloth. Don’t designate the area with any brightly colored fabric, especially yellow, since bees are naturally attracted to vivid colors and yellow in particular.

The same rule holds true for the clothing you wear. Stick to neutral colors such as khaki or tan so you lessen the possibility of being stung. If you decide to pour water down their hole, make sure to put a screen over the opening first before you submerge the bees. Also, you shouldn’t carry any sugary snacks or drinks with you. Unfortunately, if they happen to pursue you, remember to run in a zigzag pattern in order to prevent getting stung as bees follow a straight line when chasing someone.

Most bees do not like the ground to be wet so dousing them is usually a good remedy to the problem. Nevertheless, no matter what method you choose, practice caution and wait until dusk if you want to successfully extinguish ground bees from your property.

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