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Help! I have a 1995 Geo Tracker convertible which is used for farm chores. It works fine. My problem is with the company it is keeping. A month ago my farmhand decided to powerwash it as a birthday present. He managed somehow to kill the battery. $50 and 2 weeks later I had it back up and running, but in the meantime a colony of bees took up residence. I found this out when I started the car and one stung me on the nose. Three days later - when I could pry open my swollen eyes again - we searched the car, but could not find the nest. Finally we drove it out to a field, covered it with plastic to the ground and set off 3 insecticide bombs. That didn’t work either. The bees only get upset when the engine is started and they attack from the drivers left side. Two questions: (1) Where could they be hiding? and (2) HOW DO I GET RID OF THEM???. I suppose if all else fails, I could donate the car to NPR…

I’d look inside the doors and body panels. There is plenty of room for a nest. The headliner is another option. Look for holes in the door cards, headliner, under the seats; anywhere that there is open space inside the car. Those small holes that they get into and out of their nest offer protection from poison gas. As you are a less allergic friend searches for them, dress for success. Wear long sleeves, long pants, a hat and netting over your head. Don’t forget gloves, and seal any holes that expose skin with tape. Once you find them, spray down the nest with poison. After a while, pull the nest out and put it in a trash bag. Or hire an exterminator.

Open all doors and hood and trunk, get a lawn chair and beverage of choice, sit and watch the comings and goings. They will lead you to their nest. On the nose and eyes swollen shut, ouch. It is possible no nest, but something sweet drawing them there.

If they are truly honey bees and not wasps, don’t be too tempted to kill them immediately - maybe call someone that keeps bees and ask them whether there’s a way to get them out. Bees are a dwindling resource, from what I’ve read.
if you then have kill them because it is impossible to get them out as a hive, do what you gotta do.

Agreed with Remco, try to find a local beekeeper for help. Honeybees help pollinate crops and have been suffering “colony collapse disorder,” so you’ll be doing your town a favor if you cam save them from being gassed.

Thanks to all - especially jtsanders - for your suggestions. These are large yellow wasps not honeybees, so I regret that they will have to go. I’m working up my courage to “dress for success” and do the search. Great ideas for where to look. Maybe NPR won’t get this geo after all.

I have a number of cars around my place and usually find that the most likely spot for a wasp nest is the front door area; usually around the hinge locations and at the rear of the front fenders in that same area.

Speaking from experience as I’ve probably been tagged a dozen times over the years from Yellowjackets and Red Wasps.

If you can locate where the wasps are entering and exiting their nest, then sprinkle “Sevin Dust” around the area. The wasps will land on it as they begin their crawl to their nest, get some of the powder on their legs, bring it inside and lick it off, killing all wasps in the nest.

The powdered “Sevin Dust” is available at garden supply stores and most hardware stores.

If you need to sprinkle it anywhere on the inside of the car, you’ll need to worry about how to get rid of the powder after the wasps are dead. It’s a pesticide that you don’t want to be breathing. For “indoor” places where I’ve had to kill wasps/bees, I’ve taped some cardboard near the location where the bees enter and exit, and then sprinkled the Sevin on that cardboard. That makes cleanup much easier.