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  1. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,702
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    does anybody have any idea when the bees don't come out to fly. i'm allergic to bees and i have bald face hornet or as we call them around here white faced hornets flying around me and dive bombing me as i try and build my shed. don't know where there nest is but reg hornet spray does not work on them. the other day i hit one bee 5 times with the spray and it did nothing.

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  2. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,128
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    They don't come out at night, or when it's too cold for them. If you can't find their nest and eliminate it, cold weather will be your friend.

    I've been attacked by those hornets, and I think they're worse than bee stings, since each one can sting repeatedly, unlike bees which can sting only once, then die. It's getting to cold around here for them, and I haven't seen a bee or wasp in a couple of weeks.
  3. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Those are wasps, not bees. What are called bald faced hornets are actually wasps. We have them here in the west too. They build large hanging paper nests that they usually build in trees or under eves of houses. They are the size of a large softball to a football. They go after the fruit on my trees this time of year. I had a bald faced hornet nest in my plum tree here last year. I went out at night and burned it. I lighted a cloth wrapped on a stick and set it on fire. Its either that or use wasp spray. You have to poke holes in the nest to get the spray in there though, and they do not like that. So I prefer to burn them out. The smoke makes them docile (like bees) and they do not respond to fire like they do to a poke with a stick. They are less active at night, but they will come out at night in response to a threat. I have had to burn out ground wasp nests of yellow jackets too, and they are the most aggressive of the several types of wasps we have here. I used a propane burner for that at night. I ran over a large ground nest of wasps with the tractor one year and was attacked en force. The damn tractor did not go fast enough, so I had to jump off and run like hell. I went back that night with the propane burner.

    There are a lot of different types of bees as well. Carpenter bees, honey bees, and bumble bees are common here. Honey bees are coming under pressure from CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), likely as a result of the Varroa mite distributing Deformed Wing Virus among bee colonies. Bees become less active in winter, and the males all die or are booted out of the hives and the hives become reduced in size and numbers. Bees will come out and forage in warmer days in winter here. With wasps, all the males die in winter, while the fertile queens hibernate in trees during the cold months. For that reason you do not see many wasps in winter, even when it warms up. So on cold days in winter, you are likely safe from bees and wasps. You are also safer at night if you avoid wasp nests, but... the European wasp is established in the Eastern US and they fly at night to hunt. If you provoke them at night they will come out en force to deal with any threat. For that reason pest companies suit up before exterminating them, and they set up a light staged as a decoy where no one is while they spray the nest.

    Hope this helps... I am not allergic to bee and wasp stings, but they hurt. Some years wasps are really bad here.
    h2ochild likes this.
  4. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,249
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Yes, wasps not bees. And nests can get very big. You should be able to find the nest - they'll be coming & going to it. Those suckers pack a punch. I got ambushed a year ago from a nest that appeared seemingly out of nowhere in a cedar tree on our lawn. I drove by the thing two times mowing the lawn (it was at head height too) without even seeing it before one got me on the wrist the third time by. Talk about pedal to the metal in a hurry. I just stayed away, they vacated not long after.
  5. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,702
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    One question. Why didn't my wasp spray kill it? It didn't even stun it.
  6. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    733
    Loc:
    media, pa
    Try again. I have had bad spray bottles. Empyting a full bottle into a nest did nothing, the bottle was probably a year old, grabbed a new one (different brand) from the store and soaked the nest the next day, perfect kill ratio!
  7. charly

    charly Guest

    When I'm out in my woods cutting I bring this for bees.. I walked over a ground nest of yellow jackets.. Luckily I had cutting chaps on and my boots or they would have got me good.. They nailed my hand instead.. next day I cam back with this spray.. Sprays out a foam that just sits and builds, One shot at the hole in the ground. Went back the next day, no bees at all.. I'd say this stuff kicks their butts! I use to use brake clean, but I think the foam hanging around just wipes them out.. especially the ones coming back to the nest as well...
    AMSOIL Power Foam - Carb, Injector and Engine Cleaner
  8. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Interesting; carb foam cleaner. Ground wasps are the worst. I used to just use gas and burn them out. Then I switched to a propane field burner. On the house eves I use the long distance wasp spray with variable effect.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,453
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I am also allergic and with mowing fields have had to deal with lots of hives. The cans of spray no longer work, the tree huggers got a hold of the ingredients and made it worthless. Years ago they were great, now you may as well be spraying water so you must seek alternatives.

    I have had great luck shooting them out of the sky with carb cleaner. Regular, cheap, carb cleaner from walmart. Instant death but I've never hit a nest with it.

    On the nests I have gone back to liquid pesticides in the pump up sprayer. I still have some diazinon that is quite effective at the ground hives when sprayed on the entrance and also on the above ground paper hives. The pesticides kill everything so ants, spiders, and other woodbugs die too. Win-win. The liquid pesticides are not instant death like carb cleaner or the old spray but it does work.
  10. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Diazinon is no longer available (the EPA banned it). I had a lot for ant control, but I ran out of it. Same with Dursban, also banned now.

    I will try foaming engine cleaner next year on any house wasp nests.
  11. charly

    charly Guest

    I was very surprised when I went back the next day that no stragglers were at the hole in the ground.. That foam just sat like a muffin over the hole in the ground.. No one was coming or going...
  12. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,702
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    i've been out there in the morning when the temps were 47 give of take and they are still there. do they die off in below freezing temps?
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yes and no. They generally do not die off in below freezing temps, unless they abandon the hive in the fall, or are caught out of the hive.

    Social wasps, bumble bees and honey bees differ over the winter months. Honey bees huddle in clusters in the hive in winter and stay warm in cold temps by eating stored honey and buzzing their wings. The bees forage on warner days in winter months. In contrast social wasps mostly die off in the fall, abandoning their nests. The new fertilized queens find places to hibernate over winter. The old wasp queens and the rest of the colony usually abandon the nest and die. Bumble bees are similar, but rather than hibernate, the bumble queens find a new home to lay eggs in over the winter, and then she leaves them to hatch and start a new colony on their own the next spring. Most solitary wasps (like mud daubers) and solitary bees (like carpenter bees) hibernate alone through the winter in the ground or in mud cavities, or in trees and houses. They may become active in winter months during warm spells, or inside of heated houses. Also in places like California where it does not freeze in winter, bees forage year round and many types of wasps remain active through the fall and winter.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2013
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I know, that's why I have a stockpile. Though I have found chemicals that are at least as good from online outlets. The point is that the commercial sprays are no longer adequate and may in fact get you killed if you are allergic.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Err, not entirely banned, it is available for agricultural use, its certification for residential use and general pest control was rescinded.
  16. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    OK, banned for general use by 99% of us, which I used in the context of this thread. For those needing absolute clarity on my loose term 'banned' referring to this subject, here is the statement on Diazinon from the EPA:

    As part of an agreement between EPA and diazinon registrants to phase out and eliminate all residential uses of the insecticide diazinon, as of December 31, 2004, it will be unlawful to sell diazinon outdoor, non-agricultural products in the United States. EPA is issuing a reminder notice to hardware stores and home and garden retailers to inform them of the December 31, 2004, stop sale date for all outdoor diazinon home, lawn, and garden products.

    Dursban has been available and restricted varyingly, and the EPA is still supposedly doing an analysis on the safety of the use of Dursban and coming to a decision on its use in the US. As of 2000 it was banned for residential use outdoors, and in 2002 it was banned for residential use indoors. It is complicated, but here is the EPA web site on chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in Durzban:

    http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/REDs/factsheets/chlorpyrifos_fs.htm
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2013
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I have memberships on several forums and have seen folks go bonkers when someone mentions they bought such and such a pesticide going up one side of them and down the other saying that what they did was illegal since that pesticide was banned by the EPA on such and such a date and can't be used or sold after such and such date when in fact the pesticide's use for a particular purpose was no longer allowed and in some cases the change in usage was by the pesticide's maker not the EPA. That same pesticide was still legally sold and the only change was to the label, use x was no longer mentioned. So I had to point that out.

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