DoubleDogFarm
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Are Yellow Jackets beneficial to the garden?
specgrade, I don't think your vegetables care what color jacket you are wearing. :lol: :roll:

I have Paper Wasp nesting under the eaves of my shop every summer. If they become a nuisance, I pressure wash them. 2500psi makes quick work of it.

Eric

Hispoptart
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I would thinks as long as they are not aggressive they would be ok. I have about 5 huge bumble bees that have declared the larkspurs their territory and get mad at me when I get to close, no stings yet but they sure let me know they don't want me there.

tedln
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I really enjoy watching the Bumble Bees. There are many different varieties, but mine are the black ones with a large yellow stripe around the top part of their abdomen. They are covered with hair that makes them look as if they have fur on them. I saw one this morning on my cucumber vines that was so heavy with pollen on both legs plus pollen stuck to its hair, it was having trouble getting airborne.

When I am working next to them in the squash plants or cucumber plants, they dive right into the top of my head but don't sting me. It's as if they are telling me to stay away until they are finished. The problem is, they are never finished. They are in the garden when I get up in the morning and they are still working when the sun goes down.

I've seen them on basil flowers, bean flowers, tomato flowers, squash blooms, cucumber blooms and probably a few things I forgot about. I think I prefer them to honey bees for pollinating. They don't miss a bloom. They are not good pollinators in the spring garden because they don't usually appear until the really hot weather arrives. By that time, the honey bees are usually finished and gone.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

specgrade
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Are Yellow Jackets beneficial to the garden?
specgrade, I don't think your vegetables care what color jacket you are wearing. :lol: :roll:
Eric
And here I thought the sun would reflect off of the yellow and energize my plants....stupid infomercial....sure buy one jacket for $19.95 and get the second free (just pay p/h)....never again I tell you, never again!! :shock: :roll: :oops: :lol:
Last edited by specgrade on Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TZ -OH6
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Natural predator of the yellow jacket is the skunk. About the only thing that likes to dig up the nests and eat them. So run out, catch a skunk, and put it next to the nest, problem solved...the shopvac might be easier but its not organic.

tedln
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Are Yellow Jackets beneficial to the garden?
specgrade, I don't think your vegetables care what color jacket you are wearing. :lol: :roll:

I have Paper Wasp nesting under the eaves of my shop every summer. If they become a nuisance, I pressure wash them. 2500psi makes quick work of it.

Eric
I tried to wash them out of my mothers rose bushes with a water hose once. Used up a whole bottle of Calomine lotion the first day covering all those stings. I guess next time I will just have to find me one of those climbing skunks since most of my wasp nests today seem to be about ten feet off the ground. Wonder if one of your white virgin goats could do the same thing TZ. They like to climb.

Ted :roll:
I simply enjoy gardening!

tylianna
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I found that racoons like to dig up their nests, too. I spent weeks spraying that stinking hold in the ground with bee/wasp spray and it didn't work... Wake up one morning to go look at it and it was dug up! Only a few yellow jackets were investigating, but they left. I found out later that it was a racoon!

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applestar
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:lol: You guys are going WAY out there with this thread :lol:

tedln
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tylianna wrote:I found that racoons like to dig up their nests, too. I spent weeks spraying that stinking hold in the ground with bee/wasp spray and it didn't work... Wake up one morning to go look at it and it was dug up! Only a few yellow jackets were investigating, but they left. I found out later that it was a racoon!
tylianna, how did you find out it was a Racoon? Racoon's wear masks so you can't recognize them. May have just been a possum wearing a mask. :shock:

Ted
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LindsayArthurRTR
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That usually results in at least one scream from any female who happens to be in the house with the wasp.
AAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAA! I totally sympathize!
He said he could have won the Olympic 100 yard dash exiting the vicinity of the lawn mower and bird house.
And that :()
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TZ -OH6
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Skunks for yellow jackets down low, goats for paper wasps up high



https://www.jincywillett.com/journal/wp-content/uploads/goat_tree_argan_climbing_morocco.jpg

sweet thunder
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There's a family in my area who spend their summers rounding up hornets and yellowjackets. They'll come to your property and remove the hornets and nest for free, then they sort them and sell the females to a pharmaceutical company for making serum.
Maybe you could make some cash off your wasps!

FieldofFlowers
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Are you sure they are yellowjackets? maybe they are, but in our garden, the wasps that visit often are usually paper wasps or the European paper wasps. The European ones look like yellowjackets but they have orange antennae.

They are very likely looking for nectar, just like bees and many others. That is what the adults eat. If your wasps aren't going after the flowers,then they are probably hunting. They search for flies, caterpillars, butterflies, just about anything that can be grabbed and chewed up.

They also look for nesting materials. if you have a wooden fence,they will chew some of the wood to make paper to build their nest.

tylianna
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tedln wrote:
tylianna wrote:I found that racoons like to dig up their nests, too. I spent weeks spraying that stinking hold in the ground with bee/wasp spray and it didn't work... Wake up one morning to go look at it and it was dug up! Only a few yellow jackets were investigating, but they left. I found out later that it was a racoon!
tylianna, how did you find out it was a Racoon? Racoon's wear masks so you can't recognize them. May have just been a possum wearing a mask. :shock:

Ted
LOL

tedln
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Okay, I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I went out in the pasture to check the bird house which housed the bees that chased my son-in-law off the lawn mower. I had sprayed it with some of that wasp spray that shoots a solid stream for about twenty feet. When I got within about ten feet of the nest yesterday, I threw a small rock and hit the bird house pretty hard. I waited to see if anything buzzed inside the bird house or flew out. Nothing happened. I walked within about five feet of the bird house to look for dead bees or wasps on the ground. Suddenly, the bird house started buzzing like crazy and the bees started flying out of it. I started running, but still got a couple of stings right on top of my head.

I recognized the bees coming from the bird house as the bumble bees which have been pollinating my garden and told my wife I will not kill them. The only time they bother us is when we approach the nest. We can stay away from the nest until gardening season is over. In the garden, they collect pollen within inches of my hands working in the plants and don't bother me.

The wife says that doesn't sound like such a good idea. After all she said, you are the only one who gardens, everyone else, including our grand kids; are in danger of bee stings if they mistakenly approach that nest. I want to leave them alone, but I'm sure she will soon ask if I have killed that bee nest yet. I'm trying to figure out which I want to keep, the bees or the wife.

Ted
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Gary350
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Some of you folks are too Radical with it comes to organic. Next time you get sick don't go to the doctor the medician he will give you is not organic. Factory made medician is not organic. Do not take your medician use herbs, bark, roots, berries, weeds, flours, etc. make sure it is organic. LOL.

30 years ago some of my old Hippy friends were all the time telling people to boycott foreign products made over sea, buy American. They knocked all the products that were not made in USA. They handed out pamplets at the mall telling people why it is bad to buy foreigh products. One day I was at their house I could NOT miss the chance to point out they own a Sony TV, a tape player, telephone, several kitchen appliaces and many other items including a foreigh made pickup truck that were not made in USA. He who yells the loudest usually has the least to say.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Bumblebees usually give you plenty of warning -- and the head-butting that you've mentioned before -- before attacking I believe. I've never been stung by a bumblebee though I have been head butted on occasion. I once accidentally dropped a banner out of the upstairs window and startled a bumblebee, which zoomed at and headbutted my DD, who was about 4 yrs old at the time, watching me from below. It didn't sting her, though she was plenty scared.

Maybe you could put up a fence around the bird house to mark off the safe distance and keep people away (and protected). At the end of the season, when it gets cold enough that they'll hopefully stay quiet in the chill early mornings, you could either sacrifice the birdhouse and move it elsewhere, or try to pry the nest out and put it elsewhere.

I was too cheap to let them have the box and the nest was a small one so that the Winter contingent was only the Queen and 4 or 5 followers, but I scraped out a paper wasp nest during the winter and the poor things did nothing to stop me. I felt bad because I doubt they survived the move, but I couldn't leave them in there.

ETA -- Ted I can't imagine being stung in the head. I was stung TWICE in the calf by yellow jackets and that hurt and swelled up badly enough. I'm allergic to mosquito bites and get large welts so I might be more susceptible to bee/wasp stings as well, however. Hope that the stings heal up soon. :(

ETA2 -- Gary, some people are allergic to preservatives or even containers used for pharmaceuticals and the simplest treatment can potentially make them considerably worse rather than better.

tedln
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applestar,

I don't mind an occasional sting from a bee or wasp. The pain usually only lasts a few minutes and the swelling is usually gone in a couple of days. Fire ants are another story. Their sting hurts, produces a little white blister that lasts about a week, itches like crazy for a couple of weeks, and sometimes becomes infected from scratching the itch. I can't even imagine trying to estimate the number of times I've been stung by wasps and it really isn't a big deal. The bumble bee stings yesterday were on the back of my head because I was moving away as fast as I could. The pain only lasted about ten minutes and wasn't very bad. I usually get a laugh from a sting because it is normally the result of my doing something stupid. I was moving a pile of paving stones to my garden yesterday to use between my beds (we have had a lot of rain resulting in a lot of mud between my beds). As I was picking up one of the paving stones, I noticed my thumb was about 1/4" from a scorpion clinging to the stone. I was glad I noticed because their sting really hurts.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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