Ground bees near the swing set

Asked October 5, 2017, 2:54 PM EDT

I know how important polinators are for flowers, fruits, vegetables, and the world. Unfortunately, we have ground bees (not wasps) who have taken up residence in the dry soil at the edge of our property near our kids’ swing set. Is there a way I can help them to move to a different location so the kids can play.?

Multnomah County Oregon insect issues pollinators insect identification

1 Response

Thank you for your inquiry. Recently, we’ve received numerous questions about “ground bees.” In each case, the insects weren’t bees, but were yellowjackets.

We can ID the insects if you send me images, even if you only see them as they fly in and out of the ground. Take 3 images and attach them when you reply to this email.

It’s not possible to move a ground nest of either bumble bees or yellowjackets. (Honey bees don’t nest in the ground.)

If they are yellowjackets, it’s worth knowing that the colony will die of its own accord. That’s typically by mid-December in an average winter, mid-January in a mild one. In the meantime, is it possible to temporarily fence off the area to avoid contact with your children?

If not, you may want to consider a 20-foot aerosol spray available for home use. Such sprays may not be totally effective for ground nests due to potential blockage by soil. The remaining alternative is to hire a pest control company. ­­