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biggles 

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Yesterday at about 6.30 pm I found a queen wasp on my decking near my hive. She looked cold and slow. Are they meant to be about, out of their nest? Is it nearly the end of wasps this year?

She's not going to lay any more my size 11's sorted that out.

Pete
 

Midland Beek 

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The best beekeepers I've met in my time have been what I would call enlightened and considered types; people who can handle colonies in a measured way. Not the types that would wontonly kill anything.
 

biggles 

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I killed a queen wasp, what would you have done, made a nest for her?

Wasps nearly wiped out one of my colony's, what measured method would you have done, that would not have killed a wasp?

The old good wasp, near my hives is a dead one.

Pete
 

johna 

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You probably killed next years queen looking for somewhere to hibernate,so you probably sorted out next year rather than this.
 

biggles 

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Lets hope so but I doubt if its all next years problems sorted.

So far this year I have killed off seven wasp nests and one hornet nest. Oh and one queen.
 

tonybloke 

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why kill the hornet nest? they don't seriously predate honey bees, and are good for the environment.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Arguably, the far better way to keep bees is to maintain strong healthy colonies. Less likely to be predated by wasps and robbed by other colonies.

I have had wasps around all my colonies during the late summer. I have no wasp traps and no wasp problem of them entering my hives - if they do the bees either chase them out, or carry them out. Simples.

Regards, RAB
 

victor meldrew 

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The best beekeepers I've met in my time have been what I would call enlightened and considered types; people who can handle colonies in a measured way. Not the types that would wontonly kill anything.
Biggles killed 1 Queen wasp, perceived as a threat to his colonies!!.

Without knowing his skills in beekeeping you make a rash assumption that he (AND HIS ILK)are bad beekeepers(Will never make good ones) Hence my ????s

You on the other hand may wander around starry eyed , sniffing flowers, congratulating yourself on your sublime accord with nature ,whilst your bees are being ravaged by varroa, your frames ravaged by wax moth !!

The operative word I used is MAY !
Please don't regard this as a judgment of your beekeeping but rather an example of the assumptions you made regarding a fellow one :)
John Wilkinson
 

victor meldrew 

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Wasps like most things in nature, come in cycles!
Some years , to sit and watch isn't an option (No matter how strong your colonies Rab).
In an ideal world all colonies would be of equal strength, no swarming would take place , artificial swarming wouldn't be necessary, nuc's would be as strong as full blown colonies etc...
Robbed or robbing colonies can be temporarily moved but in a good wasp year when the wasp is everywhere the only solution is to move the wasp (permanently)

Balance is the key!
The maximum distance wasps fly from their nest to forage is really quite limited, if every wasp nest close enough to bother any bee colony were despatched it wouldn't seriously deplete wasp populations as a whole!
There are far more wasps nests destroyed by the general public than by all the beekeepers in the country put together.
Look on any super market shelf and see the array of wasp nest killing aerosols on sale .
These things fly off the shelves (super markets stock only what sells) bought by people who think every wasp is dangerous and must be killed ,even though the risk of any danger is minimal whilst their usefulness in clearing aphids and other crop pests overlooked .

John Wilkinson
 

oliver90owner 

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John,

My experience of wasps around beehives is likely rather more limited than yours, but my experience thus far is that the wasps will attack and destroy any colony which is not strong enough to repel them.

I am lucky, or sensible enough, to sort out my developing colonies such that they are strong when the wasps become a problem. If any are attacked and unable to defend, they are simply absorbed into other colonies or seriusly strengthened.

I have lost colonies to wasps; only the one (I think, completely) but several by having to unite before the ultimate destruction of the colony. I learned early on that wasp attack, once they have unfettered access to the hive, will continue unless some appropriate action is taken.

The one I remember losing was closed down entrance-wise, moved to another site and it still succumbed. I was told by an experienced beek exactly what would happen , and it did. Since then, action is taken at the earliest opportunity if I see wasps entering and not being carried out. Not yet had my strongest colony savaged by wasps; that would worry me! Yes, I have had wasp traps out in force previously; this year they have not been needed. I am sorry if my post did make it clear to you that it was this year I was recounting. Nor did I say it was the sure fire cure for wasp attack - I used the term 'less likely to bee predated'.

Let's keep it all in context; the stronger the colony the less likely the problem with wasps, all other things like sensible entrances, no access through gaps between ill-fitting boxes, etc being equal.

The group this does not help are those with only one or a couple of not-too-strong colonies. But that is experience for the new beeks with late nucs with lots of stores but fewer than ideal extra bees.

RAB
 

victor meldrew 

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I believe we are singing from the same hymn sheet :),
And yes! this hasn't been a year of the wasp (the long dry spell saw to that, up here anyway). Last year was a bugger!.
I long since ceased putting traps around my hives! I found it attracted wasps to the apiary and subsequently to the hives as they queued to gain entry to the traps :toetap05:. I do however place traps in the hedgerows close by, this year finding very little need to empty/recharge same.
I had one colony that went Queen less and was under attack from a few wasps !. I stood watching what appeared to be the odd wasp approach and enter. Having then closed the entrance down to one bee space ,I watched further and was surprised at the actual number of wasps there were, once the entrance had been reduced forcing them to hover looking for an opportunity !.
I put my patent wasp defender on and it soon put a stop to That .
This device works very well as it allows small colonies to defend themselves .

John Wilkinson
 

Cazza 

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And yes! this hasn't been a year of the wasp (the long dry spell saw to that, up here anyway). Last year was a bugger!.
John Wilkinson
Not in my neck of the woods. I have wasps like I've never seen before. They are seriously trying it on in my apiary.

I have never felt any need to take action against them in past years but things are getting ridiculous. Normally I am phlegmatic/ live and let live but not this year.:banghead:
Cazza
 

victor meldrew 

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Not in my neck of the woods. I have wasps like I've never seen before. They are seriously trying it on in my apiary.

I have never felt any need to take action against them in past years but things are getting ridiculous. Normally I am phlegmatic/ live and let live but not this year.:banghead:
Cazza
Here's a couple of pics of the wasp guards I use .






Perforated aluminium , easily worked !!

John Wilkinson
 

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