I have tons of bees on my property. Friggin TONS of them. OK - that's probably a taxonomic misnomer: most of them are probably varieties of wasps. There are yellow jackets, other kinds of paper wasps, mud wasps, carpenter bees, and other various unpleasantries with long hanging stingers. My barn is ground zero for the majority of these things. I don't think any of these are honeybees. Today I encountered a new breed of nuisance - these little teeny bees/wasps that look like they those undercover flies that are disguised as bees - only these ones actually were bees - and they were swarming about right near ground level. You can't see any of the varieties in this picture, but you can get an idea of the kind of wasp-paradise that the barn is. Imagine if you're standing in this hay-loft and you look up. You will see a plethora of wasps nests.
I am a bee-pussy. I'm not afraid to admit it. I got stung a handful of times when I was a kid, and then I probably went 10 years without being stung by a bee, until I got stung a few times at my buddy Gabe's house in Western Mass back when I was in high school. We were running up his deck's steps, and there was a nest underneath. They came out, flew into my t-shirt (which I promptly whipped off, both to prevent them from getting stuck and stinging me more, and to intimidate them with my ripped muscles) and stung me 3 times. Now, I was a tough high school kid at this point, and figured that the bee stings I'd remembered from my childhood only hurt because I was a wimpy 7 year old. Nope - these high school stings hurt for almost a week, and I vowed to do everything in my power to avoid being stung in the future, even if it means acting like a total wuss.
So, the question is - what should I do? Today, looking up in my barn, there were wasps SWARMING at the apex of the roof on the inside (I'm overstating it a bit, probably - there were, at most, hundreds - not thousands). It's about 2 1/2 stories high. One school of thought is: leave them alone. Ok - but here's the thing - it's all fine and dandy as long as they stay up there where they are supposed to, but they move around, and I don't want to get a surprise of a face full of wasps when I move the wrong thing in my barn and find that they've decided to make a nest there.
Also, I have at least one bat that survived the White Nose Disease, and is living in the barn. We could hear him squeaking today, telling the wasps to "leave me the f*@k alone" as they swarmed around his domain. I hope the wasps don't kill the bat, but they might. Also, attempting to kill the wasps with spray poison might kill the bat.
Wasps that build nests on the eves of my house which I can reach will be destroyed. That much has already been decided. Unfortunately for me, there are numerous places on the exterior of my house that I won't be able to reach, and that they've already begun building nests on. Fahhhhhhhk.
Does anyone have a preferred wasp-killing-spray that they use? Does anyone say "whatever you do, don't kill them - they are essential to your landscape?" I know that wasps are supposed to eat caterpillars and flies and stuff, but I think I'd prefer flies to wasps...We also have a MAJOR ladybug infestation - and the wasps are doing jack crap about that. At least if they were eliminating the ladybugs we could have a discussion - but hey, wasps, I'm not feeling your benefit!