Grrrrrr.....wasps!

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Haughton Honey 

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I have about 20 to 30 wasps 'attacking' two of my National hives continuously - coming and going in and out of the reduced entrance and they also appear to have found a way in to the top super under the roof (I'm using Manley frames and for some reason they sit proud in the super box and so the crown board doesn't close down over the super firmly, allowing a small space for them to crawl through).

The girls are doing a stirling job of trying to rid the hive of them but I think that the wasps are gaining the upper hand.

I've really reduced the entrances and put a couple of jam jar with jam wasp traps close by - is there anything else that I can do as I'm getting a bit concerned about the number of wasps about and the impact that it might be having?

One colony is strong, but the other one is on about six frames of brood in a reduced (dummy board) National brood box. I have three (nearly full) supers on the strong hive.

Thanks

Cris
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Try this from John

Simple to make and effective ,
If you form a ball out of wire netting, pull one loop out (for hanging purposes),
cover this frame with papier-mache paint with matt emulsion paint, It doesn't require any great artistic skill to create a realistic looking wasps nest :) Use dull colours dirty browny greys etc.
Wasps being territorial will avoid the area like the plague (I would think using in conjuction with wasp traps would be counter productive as the object is to deter the wasp not to encourage it ?.

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1887
 

FenBee 

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White Park Cattle seal up the crown board / super with gaffer tape, a couple of strips per side should do the trick. Further, ensure the holes in the crown board are sealed too, use a piece of plywood and again gaffer tape. Reduce each hive entrance, to give the guard bees a better chance of defending the hive.

You can try the wasp nest approach, but seeing as they are already in the area I would place a couple of wasp traps on the ground and attract them the the traps and not you hives!

A large number of wasps can rob out a hive in a few hours, so I have been informed.

Good luck.
 

Geoff 

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I am just up the road from White Park and i have seen wasps sniffing round trying out the roof to find a way in. Did not think they were going round the front until i spotted a leaf under the front entrance. It was on a geum plant and forms like a cup. There was a pile of dead wasps in the middle and then i noticed a few more under the hive. So there must have been a battle royal going on while i was not around. Will start putting wasp traps up.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Thanks for the advice - they really are streaming in and out of the front entrance so I suspect that there's a wasp nest nearby somewhere.

I'll get the gaffer tape and some more traps out!
 

jon 

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If they are streaming in and out you need to reduce the entrance even more and you definitely need to seal up the super.
i reduce some entrances to 10mm if wasps or robbers are giving trouble.
 

oliver90owner 

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What about the other 2 colonies? I would be reinforcing the weaker colony from them if they are in a different apiary and strong enough to borrow a few frames (with bees?).

If the bees are demoralised, you will probably have lost the battle for that hive unless you can increase the defences - numbers, make a small tunnel entrance - so the wasps can't just nip in and around the defenders , completely close it for a couple of days if it has enough ventilation (and feed it ), but most of all get the numbers up and entrance size down. Apart from this, as above posts.

Regards,RAB
 

Moonglow 

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Wasps and traps

I also have had a problem with wasps
After a bit of experimenting I discovered that if you put the traps about 4 feet off of the ground you will get better results
I also put a bit of dog food in the trap as they were feeding there brood at the time
I have now topped it up with a mixture of Quince jam (nobody else would eat it ) and water
The traps are now full now and need emptying wasps as well as hornets but no bees
have a look at Dave Cushmans web site for more details
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/wasptrap.html
 

FenBee 

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Just thought through my suggestion of Gaffer tape. While this will seal the gap around the crown board, I think you need to plug the gap with cardboard first. As bees inside the hive may become stuck to the exposed sticky surface of the tape! Wish I though of this earlier, better late than never I guess :svengo:

Why is the crown board not seating properly? Do you have time to make a new one with more beading to take up the space?
 

Heather 

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have done half traps with jam/water and half with bacon strip stuck in lid and water in bottle to compare attraction. Jam winning- maybe when bacon goes rancid it may be more attractive. My traps are old 4 pint milk bottles with a letter box type flap cut in a bout 1/2 way down - seems to work fine- Did yesterday - and about 40 wasps so far (in 8 bottles)

But why O why do hive entrance depths vary= I have some I need to adjust the entrance blocker as they JUST wont fit- and if I raise the brood box a fraction- it negates the whole episode as it will attract wasps by the smell even though they cannot gain entry!!!
 

Haughton Honey 

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Why is the crown board not seating properly? Do you have time to make a new one with more beading to take up the space?
For some reason the Manley frames are not sitting flush with the top of the super box, but are raised about 0.5cm above it - it's a Hivemaker hive - which I think are brilliant - I suspect that I'm doing something silly and haven't quite spotted it yet!

Anyhow, an UPDATE!

I went in to the National suffering the most yesterday afternoon and ALL of the supers had been emptied out as it appears that the wasps had been at it for a few days and I hadn't noticed.

I'm gutted but won't be making the same mistake twice. In fact, I wasn't expecting a wasp problem this early in the year, but I suppose that you live and learn don't you.

The supers have been removed so the crown board now sits flush, the hole in it has been closed, the entrances on all hives have been reduced to 10-15mm and I've set three wasp traps out.

:-(
 
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