Wasps in December

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DorsetNewBee 

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I wonder if anyone can give me advice? One of my three colonies appears to have wasps going into it and when I had a quick look under the roof (I have a brood and a half covered by a see-through crown board) I saw some more up in the super. No sign of bees in what was a thriving colony with rather feisty bees. There may well be a perfectly healthy colony down in the brood box but I don't like to disturb them so I suppose I will have to wait until spring to see if they have survived or not. We had no trouble with wasps in late summer, though the previous year was a different story, but I did anyway put a wasp excluder across the hive entrance two months ago. I treated for varroa in September and they seemed to be in good shape. They have had syrup and now they have fondant so they won't have been starving. I have two other hives (all WBC) and they seem to be OK. I was wondering a. what the chances are that this colony will be OK, b. if there is anything I could do about it right now and c. what mistake I might have made so that I can try to avoid this happening again? I would be very grateful for any suggestions. Thank you.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Take off the lifts and put your ear to the side of the brood. ( no need to tap). Do you hear bees?
If they are there just not flying maybe shut them in for a couple of days. Wasps will go elsewhere
When was the last time you saw bees coming and going from the hive?
 

hemo 

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It is of concern if they are entering at will as the colony if there is one remaining is slowly being robbed of stores.
 

DorsetNewBee 

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Take off the lifts and put your ear to the side of the brood. ( no need to tap). Do you hear bees?
If they are there just not flying maybe shut them in for a couple of days. Wasps will go elsewhere
When was the last time you saw bees coming and going from the hive?
Thank you, I will try that.
 

DorsetNewBee 

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Thank you, I will try that.
Oh, and I last saw bees flying in and out about ten days ago but that is partly because we have had terrible weather but also because I have been away. So I can't be completely accurate about when they were last flying.
 

Boston Bees 

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Your colony is dead or dying I think. When I have seen this happen, and investigated, I've found a drone laying colony or similar. Probably nothing you did, just happens.
 

DorsetNewBee 

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Your colony is dead or dying I think. When I have seen this happen, and investigated, I've found a drone laying colony or similar. Probably nothing you did, just happens.
Thank you so much for your reply, I don't hold out much hope for it but will just have to wait and see.
 

oliver90owner 

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A stethoscope is a handy piece of kit, as is a thermometer. If the colony is alive you can hear them (especially after a light tap - but don’t tap with the stethoscope on the hive.🙂). Crown-board (under insulation) will be somewhat warmer than ambient - often obvious from feeling with your hand. If on an OMF, a view on your phone may be enlightening (a bit difficult with WBCs). An inspection tray inserted for a couple of days should have some decapping debris visible if the mesh is full width.

Boston Bees may well be right in his assessment of the situation.
 

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