How to humanely get rid of bees

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Old 04-04-17, 03:32 PM
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How to humanely get rid of bees

I have a bunch of vine-age that's overgrowing the lattice fence.
I need to trim it back so that when people are moving around close to the edge, the branches don't rub and poke at people.
I got out the chainsaw and attempted to crank it but as the motor wouldn't turn over (a separate issue) I noticed these large bees with black butts buzzing around.
An exterminator once told me that the large bees with the black butts aren't going to attack you (unless you try to cup them with your hand), they're just warning you that you're in their area of operation.
However in my case, I'm about to tear down their area of operation so I have to assume an attack will ensue.
What's the best way to get rid of these bees (temporarily is fine too)? Preferably humanely but if not, oh well
 
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Old 04-04-17, 04:22 PM
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First, figure out if you have carpenter bees or bumble bees. They are similar looking but bumble bees are larger and have yellow and black rear, carpenter bees have a mostly black posterior.

Female carpenter bees can sting, but do so very rarely; males can't sting. If you have carpenter bees, they are likely nesting in the fence and you will have to treat or have treated their nesting holes to eliminate them. You probably could safely cut the vegetation with them around although they will buzz you.

Bumble bees can nest in the ground or sheltered areas. They will vigorously defend their nest and are not to be messed with. Beekeepers usually won't deal with bumble bees so you will have to resort to an exterminator.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 04:48 PM
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I don’t know as much about their biology as I should but I don’t think they will have nests this early in the season. Nesting is typically late summer and into fall.
Are there blossoms on the vines? If so, I suspect that pollination is why they are there. Pollination may be important to the vines. Once the blossoms fall off then the bee presence will diminish.

Otherwise, absent a known nest, I don’t have any helpful advice. I wouldn’t spray any insecticide on the vines/blossoms as that would be killing bees far and wide and impacting various colonies.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 05:04 PM
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so how do I get rid of the nest?

or

is there a cheap/disposable ~$20 suit/cover I can wear just to prevent any stings while I hack up the area?
 
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Old 04-05-17, 04:15 AM
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Carpenter bees aka bore bees will drill a perfectly round hole into the wood which is where they lay their eggs. I don't recall ever seeing them have a nest. While there is an expensive dust intended for their eradication I've always put sevin dust in the hole as it's a lot cheaper .... and still effective.

Have you seen any nests, holes in the wood or if they are coming out of the ground?
 
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Old 04-05-17, 07:59 AM
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If pollen is attracting them to the vines, the nests, however small this time of year, could be far away so locating them is prohibitive in the case of bumble bees which nest in ground, wall and tree voids. If carpenter bees, the females will be drilling in bare wood somewhere making an incubation chamber while the males will be living solitary lives in the environment.

If honeybees are present, then they too are coming from a nest away from the pollen gathering site.

Bottom line is that if pollen is attracting them then there isn’t anything you can do for now. When the blossoms fall off the pollinating will stop. It would be destructive to many bee colonies if one were to spray the blossoms with insecticide.

A good pair of coveralls should protect you. Tuck the pant legs into your socks, wear boots that come up above ankle, wear long gloves that go well over the coveralls sleeves. I’ve seen bee veils/mosquito veils at military surplus outlets for reasonable prices.

Consider going out early in the morning before activity starts.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 08:47 AM
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I have a climbing fig that covers a wall in my yard and it is constantly covered in millions of bees. I trim it with a hedge trimmer 3-4 times a year and have never once been stung so while I don't actually know anything, what carbidetipped said about certain types of bees rings true.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 03:09 PM
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I'm not sure if your bees will react like honey bees but smoke is typically used to calm them down.
You could borrow my old chain saw and it may produce sufficient smoke to do the trick.

As bugman said, early in the morning should help, especially if it is cold. Also, they don't care for rain, but then neither do I. A lawn sprinkler on those vines might suppress the pollen and limit their activity.

"might" doesn't offer a lot of hope but food for thought.

Bud
 
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Old 04-06-17, 06:21 AM
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I like the “lawn sprinkler” idea, Bud.
 
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Old 04-06-17, 08:36 AM
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Then again there's the possibility they could get "madder than a wet hornet".


I'm allergic and a bee sting means an expensive run to the emergency room so I'm very interested in what works.
 
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Old 04-06-17, 11:06 PM
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Big rain today so I decided to strike.
I made sure these were carpenter bees which the amount of holes in the wood confirmed. The original plan was to wrap ductape over the holes after dark when they're all in there and then do the sawing but there were so many holes it would have taken forever.
I fired up the chainsaw, didn't notice any activity, so rather than spend time wrapping up in long sleeves, gloves, etc if I happen to take a couple stings from a female, oh well.
I started sawing at the opposite end of where I usually see the bees, still no activity so I proceeded with the help of a lookout whose only job was to tell me if there was any activity.
No activity=job done. Thanks for all the advice
 
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Old 04-07-17, 04:10 AM
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Taping up the holes won't stop borer bees, they'll just 'drill' another exit. They will hollow out the wood I'd highly recommend using a duster to insert insecticide into the holes.
I use one like this - https://www.bedbugsupply.com/Bed-Bug...FVgvgQodAeYLMg
 
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Old 04-07-17, 03:00 PM
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I know to save the wood the bees have to be permanently evacuated but since this is at the exs I'll just tell her about it and if she cares enough to save it, that'll be on her
 
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