Still wasp problems in December?!

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Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
180
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152
Location
Surrey, England
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
7
It's 10th December. My abandoned fruit orchard apiary colonies are still being pestered by wasps.
Today I saw one colony is now surprisingly small. It was attacked by a swarm of wasps in October. Wasps are now passing freely in an out of the hive.

Unlike my garden apiary hives, which have traffic jams at the entrances, of bees festooned with pollen, the orchard apiary bees are staying hunkered down in their hives

How long before the wasps finally sod off?
 
It's 10th December. My abandoned fruit orchard apiary colonies are still being pestered by wasps.
Today I saw one colony is now surprisingly small. It was attacked by a swarm of wasps in October. Wasps are now passing freely in an out of the hive.

Unlike my garden apiary hives, which have traffic jams at the entrances, of bees festooned with pollen, the orchard apiary bees are staying hunkered down in their hives

How long before the wasps finally sod off?
Sounds like you need to deal with the wasps or move the bees. And the small colony might want moving to a nuc box to make it easier to heat and defend.
 
It's 10th December. My abandoned fruit orchard apiary colonies are still being pestered by wasps.
Today I saw one colony is now surprisingly small. It was attacked by a swarm of wasps in October. Wasps are now passing freely in an out of the hive.

Unlike my garden apiary hives, which have traffic jams at the entrances, of bees festooned with pollen, the orchard apiary bees are staying hunkered down in their hives

How long before the wasps finally sod off?
I still see them in my apiary area, but the colonies are still large and see them off. This is the latest in the year I’ve seen them I think.
 
Thanks @Wilco and @Erichalfbee. Much appreciated feedback.

Colony is currently on a poly brood and a half. I put a super of drawn comb on them in Sept. Then fed, which they turned into a one-third capped box (other frames being uncapped). I'm expecting to see little to no stores in the BB - the hive hefts relatively light.

Can you you suggest how I set them up in a poly nuc, since they likely have negligible deep frame stores?
BTW: They've had 2.5kg of Fondabee fondant on them for 3 weeks, which they haven't touched in the slightest.

If I decide to move them, I'm going to need to act decisively, as I only have a window of a few hours each weekend, and temperature are dropping (9C forecast for the weekend).

PS: I now appreciate the potential benefits of overwintering in a single BB. I acquired 3 big strong F1 Buckfast colonies in Sept. I didn't appreciate how much they would shrink in the winter. Lessons learnt for next winter.
 
Our wasps and hornets have shuffled off now I think. Certainly there were no hornets showing an interest when I was clearing the gutter below the hole they'd found into the bay window roof space last week. I did have one wasp come to investigate when I was pressing apples, but that was very much a straggler I think.

I've never seen them flying as late as they were this year though.

James
 
Thanks @Wilco and @Erichalfbee. Much appreciated feedback.

Colony is currently on a poly brood and a half. I put a super of drawn comb on them in Sept. Then fed, which they turned into a one-third capped box (other frames being uncapped). I'm expecting to see little to no stores in the BB - the hive hefts relatively light.

Can you you suggest how I set them up in a poly nuc, since they likely have negligible deep frame stores?
BTW: They've had 2.5kg of Fondabee fondant on them for 3 weeks, which they haven't touched in the slightest.

If I decide to move them, I'm going to need to act decisively, as I only have a window of a few hours each weekend, and temperature are dropping (9C forecast for the weekend).

PS: I now appreciate the potential benefits of overwintering in a single BB. I acquired 3 big strong F1 Buckfast colonies in Sept. I didn't appreciate how much they would shrink in the winter. Lessons learnt for next winter.
Then don’t move them into a nuc box. Prepare a few insulated dummy boards and dummy them down where they are.
 
Thanks @Wilco and @Erichalfbee. Much appreciated feedback.

Colony is currently on a poly brood and a half. I put a super of drawn comb on them in Sept. Then fed, which they turned into a one-third capped box (other frames being uncapped). I'm expecting to see little to no stores in the BB - the hive hefts relatively light.

Can you you suggest how I set them up in a poly nuc, since they likely have negligible deep frame stores?
BTW: They've had 2.5kg of Fondabee fondant on them for 3 weeks, which they haven't touched in the slightest.

If I decide to move them, I'm going to need to act decisively, as I only have a window of a few hours each weekend, and temperature are dropping (9C forecast for the weekend).

PS: I now appreciate the potential benefits of overwintering in a single BB. I acquired 3 big strong F1 Buckfast colonies in Sept. I didn't appreciate how much they would shrink in the winter. Lessons learnt for next winter.
As Dani said although if you move them to a poly nuc maybe try them on syrup just in case.

9C is fairly mild IMO.
 
I have a couple of poly nucs. I'm thinking I could buy a poly nuc super box add the best super frames to that, and put that over a poly BB, which I've added the best deep brood frames to(?).
 
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What size is the entrance? The smaller the colony being attacked the smaller the entrance should be. I use a home made wasp guard out of electric trunking for the last two years and have had no problem with wasps except to enjoy myself watching them trying and failing to figure out where the real entrance is!! I should add that my entrances summer and winter are about 80mm wide and 9mm high ie. very easily defended and easy to fit the wasp guards which are pence to make. I have always thought that full width and height entrances even with full strength are inviting trouble which you may be a bit slow to nip in the bud in whatever mode you choose Just my opinion .................
 
What size is the entrance? The smaller the colony being attacked the smaller the entrance should be. I use a home made wasp guard out of electric trunking for the last two years and have had no problem with wasps except to enjoy myself watching them trying and failing to figure out where the real entrance is!! I should add that my entrances summer and winter are about 80mm wide and 9mm high ie. very easily defended and easy to fit the wasp guards which are pence to make. I have always thought that full width and height entrances even with full strength are inviting trouble which you may be a bit slow to nip in the bud in whatever mode you choose Just my opinion .................
Colonies at this apiary have been on a single bee space entrance for 2 months. Might add the wasp baffle you referenced, as I have some I used on a couple of nucs. Around here, the wasps eventually figure them out.

I have an underfloor entrance, which I may try.
 
I have had a look at all my hives this afternoon, (17) and I found 30 sleeping wasps in total under the roofs and in the top edge of some of the supers. they were all looking big as I think they were in the process of turning into Queens.....
 
As I have ever only had one issue with wasps in all the time I have kept bees then I let the Queen wasps be , likelyhood is only a small % will make it out of hibernation and tbh they do more good then bad and are a preditor that all gardeners and produce growers need as a natural specie . A sides from the preditoral instinct they are also pollinators which is over looked by many people .

It would be a different ball game if they were AH queens.
 
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