Soil Test Kit or Bag

Asked September 4, 2017, 9:33 AM EDT

My grandson and I would like to redo the planting of an existing bed that currently has a lot of ivy. We have removed most of the ivy but there may still be bee nests in the soil. What advice to you have about working around the bee nest? Also, would you send us a kit so that we can send in a soil sample? Can you provide some information about the amount of sunlight for shrubs or flowers in a already developed bed along the side of our house?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

If all the bees are using the same hole in the ground, it's likely to be yellowjackets. Yellowjackets can sting when disturbed, so either avoid working near them or kill the hive. You can kill the hive with common hornet and wasp spray. Locate exactly where the hole is beforehand, then spray either at dusk or very early morning when wasps are not active. There is more help in this pub: or search yellowjackets on our website.
You could also wait until spring, since these wasps all die when weather gets cold except the queen who overwinters elsewhere and does not return to the hive.

If the bee holes are single, those are beneficial ground-nesting bees who only are active 4-6 weeks each year and you could wait until you don't see them, then proceed with your gardening.

For soil testing information, click on 'Soil Testing' on the right side of our homepage for how to collect the sample and where to send it, plus more.

Shrubs and flowers should be selected to match the available sunlight at a site. There are many plant options for each level of sunlight.