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MANAGEMENT OF BEES, WASPS, AND HORNETS

The pest management for these hymenoptera varies slightly between social and non-social species. The primary thing to remember is that these insects do not fly at night. Therefore, treatment of the nests is best done at night. If done during the daytime, several things need to be understood. First, they can fly. Once you start attacking their nest, whether they are social or non-social, they will come after you and try to sting you. The way to avoid this is what I call "distant attacks". There are sprays that are available that shoot a stream of pesticide as far as twenty or thirty feet. From this distance, the bees, wasps, or hornets may not associate you with the attack on their nest. However, if the attack you anyway, you will have ample warning a can run from the situation. The second thing to keep in mind about daytime treatments is that as much as 50% of the nest may not be in the nest. That will leave a large amount of these insects flying around and hopping mad. Pest management professionals will treat during the day using a dust formulation insecticide because this will leave a long residual for those workers flying around to pick up the pesticide when they return to their nest. However, the consumer can not get these pesticides. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you perform any treatment of these nests after sunset or before sunrise.
The treatment for stinging hymenoptera is to spray the nest through the opening (or in the case of paper wasps, just soak all the cells as they are exposed). Be sure to thoroughly soak the nest as much as possible. Leave the nest alone for several days. Once you a confident that the nest is dead (no more insects flying around it), then you should remove the nest so that identification of new active nests is easier. The only difference between the social and non-social hymenoptera is that more caution should be paid to the social as they tend to protect their nests more aggressively.

Special Circumstances

There are some special circumstances that require mentioning.

In some areas, treatments to kill honeybees is prohibited by law. The reason is that these are beneficial to farmers and to beekeepers. In fact, a honeybee swarm may be coming from a beekeeper's farm. In these circumstances, contacting a local beekeeper association may be required.
Carpenter bees are not basically treatable by products available to the consumer. You need a dust formulation because the adult bee is rarely inside the nest and the larvae are protected from treatments due to the structure of the nest. A dust formulation, sprayed inside the entrance hole, will be present for months, long enough for the new bees to come in contact with the pesticide. These dust formulations are restricted pesticides and are not available to the general public without a special license. If carpenter bees are nesting in your structure, you will need to hire a pest management professional.
Large aerial nests can pose special problems. You should not climb a latter to treat for bees, wasps, or hornets. This can be very dangerous. All treatment should be from the ground, or at least from a window. If you do insist on climbing a latter to treat for these insects, then you should wear a bee suit to protect yourself from stings.

If you have any questions, please ask Pestdude! pestdude@triad.rr.com

> Also see the following links:
PESTICIDES
CHOOSING A PEST MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL