A number of what appear to be ground or bumble bees have taken up residence in my perennial garden, and the last 2 times I went in to do some fall cleanup, I was attacked by 8-12 bees. They move too fast for me to take a picture. I haven't seen a hive or holes in the ground associated with ground bees, but I'm afraid to get too close to look. I've had the garden many years and this is the first time I've had trouble with bees. Any suggestions?
Montgomery County Maryland
Based on your description this sounds like you may be dealing with yellow jackets.
They are considered beneficial insects because their food consists primarily of insects. But they do become aggressive, especially in late summer and fall.
They will die off with the first hard frost and the queen will overwinter elsewhere. The nest will not be reused next year.
Avoid the area if possible and tackle any maintenance late in the season. Otherwise take a look at our website for management. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/yellowjackets