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Fall inspection with wasps


#1

Been helping my hives combat a large yellow jacket presence - reduced to single bee entry, covered remaining entrances with screens for ventilation and have bee-friendly wasp traps set. However I need to extract and start feeding but the yellow jackets are still around. My thoughts are to just wait it out until they are gone but it’s going to kill my honey harvest.

The 2 hives are a split (I captured the initial swarm) with one being a bit stronger than the other and with a few super frames of honey ready to take. Really don’t want to risk opening them up and letting a few wasps in. Anyone had to deal with this scenario? (NY based hives).


#2

If the two hives aren’t at full strength I would probably forgo a harvest until they build up some more. That might mean you don’t get much or any this season. But honey is always a better alternative to syrup whenever possible. A stronger hive will also be able to deal with issues like wasps better too.

Can you locate the wasp nest and either relocate or destroy it? That would solve your real problem not just treat the symptoms. Might not be possible but worth a try.


#3

The nest would be tough to find and ensure it is the actual one that’s contributing. My location supports a lot of pollinators. The nest will die off soon enough with the weather - it was my mistake to not trap the queen wasps in the Spring. It’s not so much harvesting but more to treat for mites and feed. May have to do a nighttime feeding when the wasps are gone but can’t really inspect. One got into the smaller hive so hopefully they took care of it themselves. What a pain.


#4

You need an assistant to pinch the wasps off the frame as they alight, then throw them over their shoulder. I have one of those and it works well.


#5

I’m starting to realize I’m living in a beekeepers paradise.


#6

Are you using high efficiency wasp traps?
Some traps just tempt the wasps over bringing more and more to the party.


#7

I second that.
Look at www.waspbane.com and click on the beekeeping link. Some good stuff there.