HELP! Bees living in front of my door! Many questions!

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

I recently discovered that I have a colony of bees (don't know what kind) living under the floorboards of my roofdeck, in or under some old leaves I had neglected to remove. (The roofdeck boards have been rotting and I'm going to have to replace the deck. It was badly designed in the first place, making it impossible to remove the leaves that collect under it - they may have even composted themselves into soil underneath by now. There is rubber roofing under the deck.)
The colony is right in front of the sliding door to the deck, making it impossible for me to feel safe to go out there. In other words, I'd have to step directly over the nest to go out. Is there anything I can do to get this colony to move on its own without hurting them? Something to make it unpleasant for them - for instance, I used a rag soaked in ammonia once to get a skunk to vacate its newly found home in my bulkhead. If not, any suggestions? Would they be more easily removed over the winter? If I did nothing, would they stay forever or make a new home somewhere else in the spring?
Any help is very much appreciated!

Kennett Square, PA

Call a local beekeeper and they will come out and look at the bees. You need to find out what kind they are. If they are honeybees, local beekeepers will want to safely move them. To find a beekeeper, check the internet (google works great) and search in your county under beekeeper, or beekeeping organizations, or look at your state's agricultural extension. There is someone close to your home that can take a look. If the bees are not honeybees, the beekeeper can tell you if he/she can get rid of them or what your next step should be.

Don't anger them or try to poison them - scared or angry bees sting!!!! A beekeeper will have the proper protective equipment.

Thank you for looking out for the bees - we need them.

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks clgs1! I actually did that this morning - couldn't believe how many beekeepers there are out there! - and got a local beekeeper to come this afternoon. I really thought they were bees, and possibly honeybees, but they never stopped in sight so I could have a good look (not that I would have known even then). Unfortunately, the beekeeper said that they were yellowjackets (thought I knew the difference between bees and wasps, thought I knew what a yellowjacket was, but apparently not.) He said that bees are fuzzier. He suggested that, since they are beneath the deckboards and right outside my door, that I wait until night (when they're sleeping and all there), and douse the area with the largest amount of boiling water that I can. I hate to commit genocide, but, then again, don't think I can coexist with these girls and guys, considering their choice of a homesite. So that's my plan. Only I'm leaving the screen closed when I do it. I am not brave! Will update you on the situation if I'm still alive to do so.
Thanks again.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

Trust me, you WANT to eliminate the yellow jackets. There is also a wasp spray that shoots a jet of foam about 20 feet. It instantly encases the nest and prevents any from escaping. If you can get to a spot where you can get a peek at the nest, it will reach it. Any time after dark or very cool days will make them quiet.

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks, jyl. I did the dastardly deed last night - with almost boiling water, as recommended by the beekeeper. There was no activity, and I just threw the water from the bucket through the screen door into the opening. No one came out of the nest. I did it again to be more sure I had covered the whole area, because I knew there were 2 entrances. Again, no one came out, and no activity today. So I guess it was a success. It's very much of a relief (though a part of me is still waiting for the revenge of the killer wasps!), but I have to say that I really do feel terrible about doing that to living creatures.
And thanks for the info about the foam stuff. I can think of a time I really could have used it on a hornet's nest on my porch - and the time may come again.

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