Thursday, August 09, 2007

How I Destroyed a Yellow Jacket Hive.

I returned home from a week's vacation to find a very active bees' nest in the ground in my front yard. I eventually destroyed it after a few day's experimentation. While I used some pesticides, that alone didn't do the trick, and I believe my coup de grace was in how I overcame the drainage system the bees had engineered.

DISCLAIMER: When dealing with any potentially lethal animals, as bees are, first assess your own ability to cope with the problems should you be stung, and the likelihood of such an occurrence. I got very brave with thie bee hive by first dangling a Ty Bear on a long string around the entrance. When they didn't bother it, I felt I had a measure of safety. I think the animals in question were probably yellow jackets and not honey bees.

The method of disposing of the bees eventually involves water. I first tried pouring about ten gallons of water down the hole of the hive in a gentle and constant stream from an uncapped garden hose. It had no apparent effect. The water was going somewhere, and it wasn't filling up to the top of the hole. I jokingly surmised they must have had a main shaft which went to the center of the earth, with a living quarters off to the side as pictured below.

What eventually got the hive was intentionally trying to create mud off of the sides of the hole. After just a few tens of seconds, the hole filled over with water. I surmised that the mud I created overwhelmed and destroyed any drainage system that the bees had apparently set up to handle the otherwise steady and gentle runoff from a long rainstorm.

No more bees.

Images below attempt to describe what I'm talking about.

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