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Confused about yellow jackets

18 years ago

I've spent a good deal of time reading the archives here, and now am more confused than ever!

I have a hive of jellow jackets living near my front house foundation. Looks like an old mouse hole that they took over.

They bounce off me when I water flowers near them, but they've never stung me.

100 feet away, around the back of my house, is my vegetable garden. Every morning when I go out to check it or water it, there are two or three yellow jackets in each squash flower, lying very still way in deep. So I thought they were pollinating, and didn't want to destroy the hive out front (although I am concerned they will sting one of my students one day).

Then I read that they're carnivors (!) and not pollintors. What the heck are they doing sleeping in my squash flowers then? Should I smother the hive entrance, and risk incurring the wrath of the survivors? Will the underground hive keep getting bigger and bigger every year? Or will they die off after a frost? I don't think it gets very cold here in Maryland, not like New England did anyway.

Thanks for any advice,

Lee Ann

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