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Wasp problem 2010

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viridens 

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4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
After that hard winter, I am surprised to have a major wasp problem this summer, worse than ever before. They have even been stripping wood off of the sides of hives for nest building! -Hordes of the little buggers hanging around the hives looking for a chance to dart in. I have seen wasps jumping on one another on the landing boards (inter-wasp nest rivalry?) -has anyone else seen this behaviour?

I had a search around, found & destroyed a wasp nest about 50 yards from the hives, but there are obviously other nests nearby on neighbouring land which I can't access. My hives are busy, and I have reduced the entrances as much as seems prudent given the bee traffic & hot weather, down to about 1". Although the guards are working hard & mainly keeping them out, it is clear that those wasps being dragged out are causing more damage & death to my poor workers than in normal years, and I wonder if they are after uncapped brood as well as honey.

Given that I can't get to the wasp nests to destroy them, the only alternative is to attract as many as possible and kill them. I can't spend ALL day around the hives squashing wasps & clapping them out of the air. There have to be more efficient ways to reduce their numbers. I have deployed many 'plastic bottle' wasp traps with fruit/jam/cola bait which are catching plenty of wasps, but not having any real affect on the local population.

I'm sure I can't be the only one with this problem, and there must be a lot of collected wisdom out there. Does anyone have a sure-fire wasp bait, or know of any other way they can be attracted? Killing them once attracted will be done electrically (I have an electronics background). The other way would be a toxic bait to be taken back to their nests to poison the brood (like 'Nippon' (= sugar water & Borax) for ants).

All suggestions greatfully received.
 
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johnandyrob 

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Wasps give off a chemical signal when they die to attract the help of their house mates that should attract more. But if you poison them and in stead of going home they get into one of your hives what will happen to your Bees?
 
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I am using sugar syrup, vinegar, banana skin, rotten fruit and a couple of lumps of dog food in the bottle traps topped with water. I caught a couple of hundred in 48 hours
 

admin 

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Are you using them near the hives Queens59 ?

I am not so keen on the idea of having Banana skins around the bees due to the isopentyl acetate.
 

viridens 

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4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
Wasps give off a chemical signal when they die to attract the help of their house mates that should attract more. But if you poison them and in stead of going home they get into one of your hives what will happen to your Bees?
Hopefully nothing, unless the wasps unexpectedly choose to feed it to the bee brood rather than their own... :)
 

johnandyrob 

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Thanks admin Iv learned something new ( and useful ) today
 

viridens 

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4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
Let us know how you get on..
Thanks! As say, I have a bad wasp problem this year.

I am hoping to get some inspiration and ideas from members here of what to get on with... The take-back-to-the-wasp-nest poison was just one of mine. -No idea if it is possible.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
 
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No, not too close - but that was mainly because I wasn't certain the bees wouldn't be attracted to them.
 
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oliver90owner 

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After that hard winter, I am surprised

You should not be. The queens would have been well tucked up in bed, mostly well undergrond, beyond the 'coldish' winter weather - nothing like '63 when the frost penetrated deeply, and for a long time! A cold wet spring, after a warm start, is the best type of seasonal weather to reduce the number of embryonic wasp colonies.

That said, it seems like traps are the only option open to you, if you are unable to access the areas from which they are flying.

A 'live' trap, foilowed by dusting, and release might just, if repeated often enough, eventually poison the wasp colonies, and you would see very quickly if they go home or continue to harass the hives, by trying a placebo powder first.

Regards, RAB
 

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