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ARGGGHHHHH.......these damned wasps!

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Haughton Honey 

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Having blocked all holes, reduced entrances down to one bee width and set a few home-made wasps traps my two weaker National hives are still succumbing to these damned wasps.....00000's of them!

I went to put some syrup in two frame feeders this morning and when I gently slid the crown board to one side by about two inches (just enough to expose the feeder) about 100 bleeding jaspers leapt out at me, so they're obviously overpowering the guard bees and coming in through the front door.

This colony is on about six frames of brood after a split a month ago and just doesn't seem to be able to cope.

I'm reluctant to kill a Q and then unite to another colony as I spent ages trying to get to four hives in order to try and get them through winter...grrrrrrrrr

It's very depressing - and looks like there's little else that I can do.

Will try and take a couple of photos later or tomorrow.

:(
 

Rosti 

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WPC, I know this does not help with the ones in the hive (electric zapper raquet for when you open to knock them down - even if you get a few bees in the process?) but I have read somewhere (a NZ beekeeping book I think) that wasps don't like tunnels and an extreme protection measure is to create an entrance which consists of a number of small tubes, the bees will enter, the wasps will not. Not tried it but sounds like anything is worth a go in your situation. Good luck, R
 

Geoff 

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Toilet rolls then. I wonder if one could be fitted on the inside under the frames? The wasps are very manouverable in flight but in the confines of a tunnel.
 

Poly Hive 

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Our plumber opened up a roof void looking for a valve today and found the biggest wasps nest I have ever seen must be near three feet across. Thankfully long dead.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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From what I can see, you may only have two options before losing both colonies.

Add more bees from the strong colonies (may create another problem). Or unite. One strong colony is better than two weak ones, or none.

When the bees become demoralised, it is difficult to reverse the situation.

Tunnel entrances are a good idea. I mentioned them on another thread.

The thing with wasps is to be able to resist entry. Fighting outside the actual hive is better than trying to defend once inside as that usually9hopefully) ends with the wasp leaving or at least retreating - not often lethal squabbles which could occur inside (only good if the bees win every time!)

Questions: which way are your frames9warm or cold) and is the nest immediately behind the opening?

Any ways, once through the door, to evade any sentries will make things worse.

Regards, RAB
 

Haughton Honey 

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Thanks, I shall give some form of tunnel entrance a go as suggested........failing that it looks like uniting might well be the only option.

My frames are at right angles to the entrance, rather than parrallel to, so cold I think(?)
 

merylvingien 

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I dont see how adding a tunnel is going to deter wasps, i deal with little gits every day and the amount of nests i treat in the ground is a lot! They dont have a problem going into vole holes, so again i cant see how adding a tunnel will put them off...
 

rae 

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Do you have an option to move the hives? Or, can you find out where they are coming from, and kill the nest?
 

Haughton Honey 

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And now I've just been stung on the earlobe by one of the little *******s

It's bleedin' well throbbing too.

:toetap05:

I've had a look for the nest (or nests) but sadly haven't located it I'm afraid.
 
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Your frames are warm way. Put the frames with brood/bees up to the entrance that way the bees will be closer to brood and entrance without being divided.
 

Bucks_Boy 

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hi having read your problems, i would move them if you can.
I agree that moving is the best policy but I was recently told that putting a piece of glass in front of the entrance slows them down as the bees quickly work out to go round the sides but a large proportion of the wasps beat their heads against it or find the way round but have a panic attack at not being able to fly up to the light .

I thought this was b******t but taped a piece of perspex ( apidea cover board) in front of a nuc entrance that I had reduced to 3 bee width and they seem to post a few extra guards out in "the conservatory" - not seen any problems since....... not scientific as I've been killing the little sods by the hundred anyway but it did seem to help...
 

Haughton Honey 

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Update!

I have just moved the weakest colony to another site about 6 miles away from the 'problem' site and having left them to settle for a couple of hours went to inspect them from a few feet away.......only to find that they were yet again inundated with wasps.

I'm presuming that wasps are just a problem everywhere this year!

I'll try the glass/perspex next I think.
 

oliver90owner 

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merylvingien,

I dont see how adding a tunnel is going to deter wasps

Makes no difference to the wasps but might improve the chances of the defenders, just enough to tip the scales in their favour, maybe.

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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have just moved the weakest colony to another site .......only to find that they were yet again inundated with wasps.

That is my experience. I was advised that would be the case by several when I was a beginner and had problems. They were correct and, for a group of beeks, all in agreement for a change. You need to make that decision to beef up the number of defenders soon.......unecessary delay will leave less chance of stopping the colony decline.

I would suggest you get some hands-on advice from a local beekeper who can evaluate the conditions on the ground and take the immediate appropriate action. Ring your local BKA now.

Regards, RAB
 

Rosti 

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merylvingien,

"I dont see how adding a tunnel is going to deter wasps"

The article / book I read did not propose a tunnel. It suggested lots of small (not much more than a beeway wide tunnels with 6 or 8 of then together making up the enatrance, can't remember how long they were mean't to be (but would have to be at least 6cm or so to get a confined space?). I bought some very small 13A wire plastic conduit from B&Q in case I needed to do it. The article suggested that wasps would not enter such a tight long entrance tube but that the bees would.

That said no personal experience of the method and I am fortunately filling traps with jaspers rather than hives so don't need to try it myself yet. Good luck to you guys though. R
 

Hombre 

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Interestingly I was in Wickes today thinking about a variety of things and noticed that the twin walled polycarobonate transparent sheet had a cell diameter of around 8-9mm. Ideal bee space for multiple entrance tubes. Just when I had completed my OMFs with vertical entrances.

Now how to ensure that the inner surface of say a three or four inch length of this material is sufficiently rough to give the bees purchase, or is there no need for that due to the dimensions?
 

Geoff 

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Now how to ensure that the inner surface of say a three or four inch length of this material is sufficiently rough to give the bees purchase, or is there no need for that due to the dimensions?
Paint and then sprinkle with sand while still wet?
 

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