What to do with tree and bees

GARDEN Q&A

October 28, 2006|By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali | Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to The Sun

Our large tree needs to be removed, but first we need to get rid of the bee colony inside. Who deals with bees in our county?

Beekeepers would be very interested in retrieving a honeybee hive. Call us for a list of beekeepers.

If it is not a honeybee hive, look at the color photos of bees and wasps on our Web site's "Plant Diagnostics" section, then click "Pest Control." Once you have determined what kind of bee or wasp you have, you will know how to proceed. Many wasp colonies, for instance, die over the winter and the queen leaves, in which case you can wait for a hard freeze and then cut down your tree.

I just cut down my asparagus plants for winter. When do I fertilize and lime?

Asparagus are medium-heavy feeders. They like nitrogen fertilizer in early spring and again after spear harvest, but any time of year is good to apply a top-dressing of compost. A pH of 6 to 6.7 suits them. Take a soil test to determine the soil pH and possible need for lime. Fall is a prime time to lime.

Checklist

Store all pesticides where they will not freeze over the winter.

"What are all those black and red insects on the side of my house"? Boxelder bugs. You can knock them off with water from a hose.

Jon Traunfeld, regional specialist, and Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, work at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, which offers Maryland residents free gardening information. Call the center's "hotline" at 800-342-2507 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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