As anybody who reads my blog knows, weeds are a continual issue with me. I realize it is a natural consequence of cutting down all the brush we inherited before we had replacement plants, but it is still an ongoing irritant. Nevertheless, now that it is decently drying out (thankfully not in drought conditions) and I can ramp up the required weeding from my daughters, I have finally been able to attack them with force. Sometimes, however, this is not always the best idea.
A couple of weeks ago, I was diligently unearthing one of my blueberries. I had been enjoying the buzzing of bees for a while, but hadn’t thought anything of it. Even though I never saw any bees in the blooms, the nearby blackberry was in full flower. Then one whack of the claw precipitated a huge cloud of buzzing. That is when I looked down.
Less than a foot away from where my foot had been for a good half hour was this:
You can’t really see it from this picture (I was not getting any closer), but the nest had been built right on top of the ground, between two blackberry vines. It also presented me with a quandary. Pollinators are very much needed right now, but this nest was not in a good place. Even though I had miraculously avoided being stung, I knew I could not count on it in the future, especially when it was right next to the blueberries. As much as I am vehemently organic, the bee spray needed to come out.
After the nest had been sprayed, and I could safely open up the brush around it, this is what it looked like. As you can tell, the dogs had been investigating as well.
After the nest had carefully been removed and placed in the trash, I could finally look at the dead critters and figure out what they were. Although I couldn’t get a good look at them when they were flying around, it turns out they were yellow-jackets.
Fortunately, I don’t have to kill all of the bees, wasps, and hornets that I find around my place. There are some very peaceful wasps that have filled the eaves of my shop up with open-faced nests.
I can stand with my face just inches below their nest and watch them as long as I wish without worrying about being stung. Even if wasps were not beneficial to the garden, I would encourage their colonization just for the entertainment value. Now if I can only convince the yellow-jackets to nest in the brush pile instead of my weed-infested garden, I could leave them alone as well!