Q: I have a bad case of yellow jackets. They’ve built their hive among the roots of a nandina. Can I dig the plants in fall and destroy the hives?
A: Yellow jacket nests don’t survive winter. When frost approaches, a fertile queen will emerge from the nest and spend the winter under a pile of leaves or a rotten log. She’ll emerge in spring, lay eggs in a likely spot, and begin building a new nest. If you can be patient, cold weather will kill them all with no need to dig the nandina.