How to deal with bees?
Today while rough cutting a new section of trail I inadvertently disturbed a bee hive, resulting in a bunch of stings. My question is, how do you all deal with such bees?
This one is located inside a 6'-ish dead tree right at the edge of the new trail. I can't imagine they'll be a huge problem once the trail is in place, but while building I want to be sure that none of our volunteers get stung. Most of our building won't happen until October or November, but I'm not sure the cold will make them dormant before then. I'd rather not just go in with a can of wasp/bee killer if there is another option...
I had almost exactly the same thing happen except it was AFTER the bees were dormant. The chainsaw still woke them up! 8 stings on my head. I don't know how many on my body (under my shirt). It felt like one giant sting all over my torso.
I've hit nests (yellow jacket wasps) when they were active and I've always resorted to wasp blaster. I'd like to hear if there is an alternative.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
I had a nest that the wasp killer didn't really seem to be able to kill. It mostly just annoyed them. 12 gauge shotgun worked though.
I have a bag of seven dust in my truck. Dump a pile of the dust at the entrance to the hive and the bees will track it into the nest and it will take them all out.
move the trail over a foot, bypassing the nest, and flag the tree for later trail builders.
if you don't mess with them, they won't mess with you.
White Clouds - Heart of Idaho
Sorry, won't work here unfortunately. This trail is located on the top of a small ridge which is the tailings from an old, unfinished canal and can't move either direction without requiring loads of bench cutting.
Originally Posted by mudflap
Looking at the area a day later I think it'll be fine, as without the attack pheremones in the air the bees were nice and calm. Hopefully they'll stay that way.
Find a local bee keeper to come in and remove the hive. My boss does this and has removed hives from a bunch of our construction sites.
I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!
I'm also a fan of the 12 gauge wasp killer (used that one a couple of times). Gas or diesel works good on a wasp/yellowjacket nest in a hole ( you just have to saturate the nest the fumes kill em so don't light it on fire) and if you are sawing you already have it with you. Honey bees I would just leave alone if possible there aren't enough any more because of bee mites.
Originally Posted by epic
If you're talking about actual bees, then try to leave them alone as they're beneficial for a variety of reasons. If you mean wasps/hornets/yellowjackets by "bees" then go ahead and kill the nest as these insects are oftentimes more aggressive than true bees. And falling down the side of a cliff after from being stung and losing control doesn't sound fun
Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches
I disturb Yellow Jacket nests all the time. What I do is 1-run like hell. 2- give them a few minutes to settle down. 3-approach the area to determine where the nest is, and if the nest is a few feet off the trail work carefully to avoid disturbing the nest. If the nest is right in the trail- leave them a 5-10 foot buffer and come back another day to finish. This technique has worked every time for countless encounters. I've never been stung after the initial attack. Honey Bees are much more docile, but I've never encountered a hive. I'ld say put on some protection like a face net and go work that short section when it's cold or at night. Don't kill honey bees- they're more important than getting the trail done in a hurry.
Sevin dust is nasty ****. I wouldn't touch that stuff for anything, no matter how badly I needed to take out some insects. it will poison other animals or people for days after you put it down.
If honeybees, I agree to call a beekeeper. That typically won't cost you a dime.
if you're dealing with something more aggressive like yellowjackets, mahogany wasps, or something like that, it behooves you to kill the hive if the trail can't be moved. you never know when a sting-allergic rider is going to come by. the foaming sprays can be effective if you know where the entrance is and can get the spray inside the hole. CO2 fire extinguishers can take out a hive. freeze the bastidges. expanding foam insulation can plug up a nest if you can't get deep enough inside (and you know all the entrances). I have used concrete/mortar to fill yellowjacket holes in the ground. does the same basic thing. Since you're working with a rotting tree, plugging it may not work so well. do you think you could chuck a bug bomb or two into the tree like a grenade to fog them out?
Plain old smoke, like from a smoking branch, calms them down. If you intend on leaving the nest, but need to work on the trail, I would have someone fill the air around the hive with smoke until you are done
My buddy had a huge bee's nest inside his house between the walls, that was taken away by a beekeeper. Bee's will only attack when roughly disturbed and for the most part are not aggressive. If you have one buzzing you, don't swat at it, as it is only trying to figure out what you are. The little touch/bump they give you is a way for them to do this. Swatting is aggression and they will react.
The beekeeper was very cool explaining this and wasn't wearing any protective gear when he removed the nest. A little smoke was all he used. He told us it was ok to watch him and it was very interesting to see. The honey tasted amazing too btw!
The nest we had near a trail was taken away in the same manner, since bee's are extremely important for our food supply the beekeeper was very happy with the huge nest he took away.
Hornets, wasps, yellow jackets are aggressive and wiping them out is sometimes necessary, specially when they are too close for comfort.
Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT
A can of cat food
Place an open can of cat food next to the hole and skunks will dig them out and eat them.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
We have local/friend bee keeper who shows up with a fake queen in a wax tube type of rig, he puts in his bee honeycomb and sets it near the hive and the bees walk out and into the new home for transport. When they are all out he finds the real queen and puts it in the honeycomb. Really cool to watch!
know your stinging insects!
As others have said, know what insect you've got there. Sounds to me more like a type of hornet you've got rather than honey bees, and even with hornets there are different species that have different levels of aggression.
Our local riders destroyed 2 ground hornet nests this season; 1 was being built in a berm on our pump track, the other in the path of a new trail. I've also had to control several types of hornet and wasp in my barn, house, and garden (live in rural Maine).
Best solution I've found is a product called Spectracide Pro, which the only place I've been able to find it is Home Depot (the "Pro" part is important; you can search their website; I've not posted here enough to be able to include links). Comes in a spray can with a 12' or so range including the ability to knock flying insects down. It's the least toxic spray I've found (much less, ironically than the ones with fancy labels to attract homeowners); it acts as a neurotoxin to segmented insects though is fairly benign to other animals, the exception being it is also extremely toxic to aquatic life, so it must not be sprayed where it will immediately enter waterways. The MSDA research I did on the active ingredients suggests that they breakdown in soil and air within a few days though.
Hope that helps...
What I use as a pest control professional
B&G 1152-A Hand Duster, B&G 2 Qt Hand Duster - Free Shipping
Alpine Dust, Alpine Insecticide Dust
(smaller quantities are available for less)
You can buy a longer piece of PVC to use on the end of the duster from any hardware store if you prefer.
It doesn't take much dust, just a couple pumps then evacuate.
I personally will do it in the middle of the day when it is most active but that is only because I need to get it done and don't feel like going back later.
However, it is safer to do it in the evening.
Next day, you won't see a single bee.
You could find cheaper means but this is what I find to be one of the safer means, the most effective and still environmentally responsible methods.
That Alpine Dust looks like a much better alternative to Sevin dust, which is a carbaryl insecticide and known to be VERY nasty. It is a wonder it is available to any Joe Moron Homeowner, let alone available at all. It does bad things to pets. A google search will turn up plenty of evidence. A lot of people use Sevin dust for fire ants where I live and my wife has treated a number of poisoning cases in pets that have walked near an area where it was applied (then ingested it by licking their paws later). Many do not survive. The stuff will do the same to wildlife.
Alpine dust is a good product and is safe if used properly.
Keep in mind though, it is still designed to kill and that is its only purpose so if used improperly, it is potentially hazardous to people and animals.
Alpine dust is also a green product.
Here is the info on it from BASF
BASF | Alpine Dust Insecticide
Personally, it is my favorite product that we use and I find it works well in many different types of situations. I use it wherever I can.
Disclaimer: I do not advocate people just going out and buying this product and trying their own pest control without proper training. I have gone through extensive training and testing to do what I do. This product and all other pesticides have to potential to harm or even kill you. Used improperly it is dangerous.
If you're building around 4:20, this may be easily accomplished. Just make sure you have adequate snacks for after.
Originally Posted by Bikemaya