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Wasps & hive opening?

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Salkeela 

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History:

We started beekeeping with a large swarm which had been kept in a Nuc box for a while before we got it. We think it sent out another swarm, because it had capped queen cells when we got it.

It was split into two hives (put on top of each other) and the lower hive got a virgin queen that hatched as we were checking the queen cells. The top one was given a capped queen cell that looked just about to hatch - it was also fed with a contact feeder in a brood box over the crown board as the lower box got the flying bees.

Today (3 weeks after the manipulation) we need to look in.

My wasp question:

The contact feeder must have leaked a little through-out this 3 weeks as there are always a dozen or so wasps crawling round the junction of the upper most brood box and the crown board of the top hive.

Will these wasps cause a problem when we open the hive?

What precautions do you suggest?

Maybe I'm worrying unnecessarily but......
...... many thanks for any responses - reassuring or otherwise. ;)
 

Salkeela 

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I guess I should add that both hives seem very active at present. Loads of activity as bees fly in and out. The bottom box has slightly more activity but that is to be expected I suppose.

I have never seen a wasp get into either hive - they just sit on the outside and take what sugar has leaked. I'm just worried that they might be a problem as soon as we open up.
 

FenBee 

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Salkeela, I am a new beek so others may have better ideas. But my approach would be to clean up the leak from the feeder if you have not already done so. Then provide another more interesting source of food for the wasps, i.e. a wasp trap.

I have made my traps using old 4 pint milk containers, based on Robin Dartington's design. I would give you a link to his website but it appears to be down at the moment. Basically, cover the lower section of the container in gaffer tape and cut a small horizontal slot about half way up the bottle. Then fill 50% fruit juice and 50% beer (of your choice) and a desert spoon of vinegar and replace the bottle top.

The bees will not like the smell but the wasps will and end up drowning. Just keep an eye on the trap to ensure that the numbers are not building up, as the dead wasps will start to block the trap.

Good luck.
 

Salkeela 

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Okay I'll set up some traps and see what happens.

Perhaps we could squish some against the hive before the big opening.......:ack2:
 

peteinwilts 

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i guess the slot is for th wasps to get in and the gaffer tape is to stop the bottles splitting...

does any flavour juice work better than others (i.e. orange and apple are very different)..
 

oliver90owner 

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gaffer tape is to stop the bottles splitting...

No. To keep out the light near the entry slots so the wasps fly up to the top (the clearer part), until they eventually fall back and drown.

Regards, RAB
 

mark s 

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jam and water do just as well im getting aload of wasps in my traps,having to empty them every 3 days at the mo:)
 

victor meldrew 

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i guess the slot is for th wasps to get in and the gaffer tape is to stop the bottles splitting...
.
The gaffer tape is to create a dark zone below entrance, causing wasps (seeking a light escape route)to stay above entrance slot until exhausted, where upon they fall into the attractant and drown [simples].

John Wilkinson

SORRY OLLIE :redface::redface:
 
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