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kazmcc 

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My babies are under wasp attack. For weeks I've been asking if it might be a good idea to narrow down the entrance as the plums are falling and wasps were in the area. Well, two days ago I went to check the hive, and saw 3 wasps buzzing around the entrance, while two little guard bees were trying their hardest to sniff all the returning bees. I rang Paul, and he told me he couldn't make it down until next week, and if I felt confident enough, just put a few blocks along the landing strip to narrow down the entrance. So, I called the bloke I am to care for the bees with, and off we set with various peices of wood.

It was awful, when we got there, there were 3 wasps trying to enter the hive. One got dragged in, but another snuck by and got inside. There were wrestling matches all over the floor of the enclosure, and more wasps heading to the area. :( We cleared the floor of the enclosure of all twigs, branches and plums, then set about closing the entrance. As we finished ( we haven't closed it enough, so we are going back today to close down to about 1 - 2 cms ) we watched as the bees defended their home. I stood on as many wasps as I could, but I know it was futile as more will come. It is so upsetting. Paul reckons they will be fine, and they are doing their job, but as this is the first time I've encountered this, I am getting distressed by it.

We will have another crack at closing today, then all we can do is try and keep the floor clear ( oh, and I've decided.....that tree will HAVE to go :( ) I'm sure this is something you more experienced beeks have experienced time and time again, but for a new beek, it is upsetting. Is there anything else I can do? We know the wood needs to fit snuggly asthere is a bit of a gap at the top on one side, and the entrance needs to be about 1 -2 cms, which is our task for today.
 

Poly Hive 

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Why not set up a wasp trap or three, plenty ideas of how to on the forum.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Reduce the entrance until the wasps are rejected. If they are carrying out a dead wasp a few minutes after entry, all should be OK. If there are wasps going in, and exiting, at their leisure, then more drastic action may likely be required.

Have you seen Victor Meldrew's 'entry baffler' for wasps?

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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Wasp traps, good idea :) make them right away

A handful of dead wasps on the floor outside the hive.

Not seen VM's wasp baffler? Have a search for it now, thank you.

PS Could someone send me the link. I'm useless at searching and can't seem to find anything for wasp baffler :D
 
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Grub 

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Do what I done years ago dressed in a beesuit reading a book and squashed them as they went in or coming out , a very enjoyable afternoon LOL

Grub
 
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Kaz - I feel your pain. Best way to alieviate it is to kill as many of the little bleeders as possible, can be quite theraputic. But they are a real pain, especially when you are trying to get inside the hive.

Some things I've found helped:
  1. Entrance. They will get through ANY crack available - its quite amazing to see. So no cracks. And narrow the entrance until your guard bees are masters of the situation*
  2. Traps. Sawn off lemonade bottles filled with nasty substances (recipies elsewhere) and pieces of carboard with a blob of jam and smeared with sticky substance such as rat glue or gloss paint (very efficient!).
  3. Gaps. As per 1 above, they will get in anywhere. If your hives have those little conical ventialtion spaces at the top, they will get in there. I hadn't sealed the open mesh floor adequately on one hive, and they got in there. Fail to put a super back squarely and they'll get in. For once, propolisis is your friend!
  4. Swipe and swat as time permits (fully suited).
  5. More complex entrances seem to throw the wasps as well - propping glass up against the front, or concealed narrow byways such as described by John Wilkinson recently. They're not as clever as your girls.

But the bees seem pretty good at keeping them at bay as long as they are given a chance (eg reduced entrance). You'll never get rid of the wasps altogether, but as long as they're not in the hive in large quantities, your bees should manage.

*EDIT - entrance doenst have to be reduced by wood - foam seems just as good
 
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kazmcc 

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Do what I done years ago dressed in a beesuit reading a book and squashed them as they went in or coming out , a very enjoyable afternoon LOL

Grub
Had a go at that yesterday Grub, stood for ages just crunching them under my boots. Did worry that it might attract more, but they were on their way anyhow :( Our site is quite far from my house, so when I do get down, the kids moan about being bored, and can only stay a while ( can't wait for school to begin again lol )

The wasp traps are an obvious solution.....thanks, in my panic I didn't even consider them. Buying sticky mouse traps as I type ( well, the kids are ) hope they work just as well as the rat glue, big blob of jam, should do the trick. I'm going to try a few types, just searching now.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Do what I done years ago dressed in a beesuit reading a book and squashed them as they went in or coming out , a very enjoyable afternoon LOL

Grub
:biggrinjester::biggrinjester:I have done that.

Rat glue works well. I have a trap on each hive. Each board is nestled in a bird feeding station with a roof. Keeps the rain off.
 

Grub 

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:biggrinjester::biggrinjester:I have done that.

Rat glue works well. I have a trap on each hive. Each board is nestled in a bird feeding station with a roof. Keeps the rain off.
Rat or wasp , wasp or rat , I hate the glue for rodents realy cruel as they have a lingering death also other animals can be traped , but hey I must of killed thousands of wasps over the years , so I must like rodents a bit more than a wasp but then I hate the wasp trap as they drown always feel guilty but a good swat all over:hurray:

Grub
 

Brosville 

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I've been making my own wasp traps and have found that the most effective are "single drink size" green placcy bottles - cut the top off just below where it starts to narrow towards the neck, and upend it and insert into the remaining base - smear of honey on thread of bottle (now inside the base) - tape together with insulating tape, and half fill with water.... absolutely deadly, and the more dead wasps in it, the better it works! (I suspect they're attracted to the niff of putrefaction induced by warm water and rotting wasps.......)
May be imagination, but green bottles seem to work far better than clear ones!



Several of these allied to some pretty enterprising bees are keeping them at bay here - all of the top bar hives have had their three round entrances reduced to single bee sized holes by the bees themselves - and should a wasp have the temerity to try getting in, they tend to end up horribly mangled!:nature-smiley-016:
 

kazmcc 

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I need to make these up pretty quickly, and I'm skint.....so what mixture should I put in that won't attract my bees? I have tried searching, but wasp traps are a well discussed subject and can't seem to find a recipe, just debate so far.

I haven't looked at the link yet Monsieur, so sorry if the answer lies there. Going to look at that next.
 

Grub 

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I need to make these up pretty quickly, and I'm skint.....so what mixture should I put in that won't attract my bees? I have tried searching, but wasp traps are a well discussed subject and can't seem to find a recipe, just debate so far.

I haven't looked at the link yet Monsieur, so sorry if the answer lies there. Going to look at that next.
Mine is jam and a nice dash of vinegar works a treat I never use honey

Grub
 

Brosville 

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tried jam, they weren't interested, so the tiniest smear of honey was tried to great effect - caught hundreds of wasps, and not one bee! At first I emptied them out and replaced the honey, but found that once the traps "get going", it's unnecessary, and they work better and better!:hurray:
 

Erichalfbee 

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I'd never use glue for rodents. My husband is an ace shot and the only time we had rats under the chicken coop he dispatched them all quickly.
I did feel a bit guilty watching the first wasp swimming in the glue :angelsad2:
 

oliver90owner 

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copy of V Ms post

I use alighting boards , my entrances are about 5" long .
I have a simple contraption (S) which is a strip of perforated aluminium sheet , cut and folded to form an angle one bee space high , by two bee spaces wide , closed off at one end , it is about 9" long . when placed on the landing board (covering the entrance ) it forces the bees to negotiate a tunnel from the open end to gain both egress and ingress . The bees soon learn the route , whilst the wasp tries to enter where it last exited .
The wasps that try to follow the foragers in, have to run a gauntlet and as the tunnel is full of bees both entering and leaving ,never gets it's nose in !
I'm not a technical writer so hope the explanation is understandable !.

John Wilkinson


Hope that helps,

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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Thanks Oliver90, I do remember reading that now. It might take a few days to make one of these, but once made, you can use again and again.

Until then, I have pics of the enclosure where my girls now live. Would you mind having a look and advising me where to put a) the sticky mouse bait traps and b) the bottle traps.....don't want to trap any of my ladies in the process

my pics
 

Erichalfbee 

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I need to make these up pretty quickly, and I'm skint.....so what mixture should I put in that won't attract my bees? I have tried searching, but wasp traps are a well discussed subject and can't seem to find a recipe, just debate so far.

I haven't looked at the link yet Monsieur, so sorry if the answer lies there. Going to look at that next.
Jam cheap "ribena" and one drop of washing up liquid per bottle.
 

YorkshireBees 

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I need to make these up pretty quickly, and I'm skint.....so what mixture should I put in that won't attract my bees? I have tried searching, but wasp traps are a well discussed subject and can't seem to find a recipe, just debate so far.

I haven't looked at the link yet Monsieur, so sorry if the answer lies there. Going to look at that next.
The answer, imho, lies in your initial post!
What is attracting the wasps in the 1st place, the rotting fruit!

Cut it up a bit and into the water it goes!
I have made a couple of wasp traps this year, luckily for me I get to use (recycle) the large water dispenser type bottles and followed a slightly different design (although the same in principal).
Whilst searching for the best wasp attractant I read several times that cherries or other rotting / fermenting fruit attracts wasps and NOT bees.

My wasp traps have been working but at the moment there seem to be very few wasps about in my area compared to last year!
 

PaleoPerson 

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Various mixes for my wasp traps failed, but sugar syrup with a big dob of jam in it works well and the jam keeps the bees away.

100% wasps 0% bees so far.

Ahh, the sounds of summer:
Leather on willow, wasp on pine.....
 

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