Wasps!!!!

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E1M 

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WASPS ARE ATTACKING OUR NEW NUC, What can we do?
 

pargyle 

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WASPS ARE ATTACKING OUR NEW NUC, What can we do?
Close the entrance down to just the smallest hole you can ... ideally one bee space - a Nuc will manage with this. Prop a sheet of glass in front of the entrance, the bees will find their way round it but the stupid wasps will just fly into it and hopefully knock themselves even more stupid.

Don't open the hive if there is any sign of the wasps robbing it ... the less they can smell what's inside the better so inspections (if any) need to be very quick.

I wouldn't bother with wasp traps anywhere near the hives as that just encourages more of the little beggars to arrive.

Your bees should be able to defend a small entrance if they are fit and well.
 

Dusty Rhodes 

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If you have a feeder, you can give them a good feed and sheet thm in for a few days, hoping the wasps will forget.

Get a high efficiency wasp trap in the meantime. The one that captures even the scout wasps.

Move the nuc to an out apiary for a while (bearing in mind that if they are vulnerable where they are, they will be elsewhere if unprotected).

Dusty
 

E1M 

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Thanks for the advice, this seems the most sensible to us as we have nowhere else to place the hives.
Just off to reduce the entrance and put some glass up.
 

Karol 

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If you still have problems after reducing the entrance and using a glass sheet then follow Dusty's advice and get a high efficiency wasp trap but as an added tip, the ideal thing to do is move the nuc - even a few feet will do and place the trap immediately in the exact original place where the entrance to the nuc was before you moved it. Wasps are programmed to navigate to the exact same location where they found/communicated a food source and the trap will then mop up those 'returning' wasps that originally found your nuc. Just moving the nuc without mopping up the wasps will help for a short while but the wasps will start looking for an alternative food source and might find the nuc again or find another one nearby.

Good luck with your endeavours
 

Ailsaboat 

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Can someone describe the glass trick a little more? Are we talking a big sheet covering the front of the hive or just a small piece in front of the entrance - or something inbetween?
Plus how close, a bee space or resting against the landing platform?
Sorry for all the questions, but also suffering robbing from a smaller colony.
 

E1M 

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Great advice Karol, however, all of our hives are next to one another in the front garden. If they don't get this one they will get the next or the next or the next......

Thank you for your thoughts.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Great advice Karol, however, all of our hives are next to one another in the front garden. If they don't get this one they will get the next or the next or the next......

Thank you for your thoughts.
i've used a glass pane from an old greenhouse, about 12" by 24"
 

Karol 

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Great advice Karol, however, all of our hives are next to one another in the front garden.
Doesn't matter. The beauty about wasp navigation is that it is precise literally to within millimetres which means that even in constrained places, moving a nuc a small distance will be enough if the trap is then set in its exact original location. I know it sounds hard to believe but it's true and it's a technique that has been used in many other applications with resounding success but the use of such traps is only warranted if other measures aren't enough which hopefully they should be.

If they don't get this one they will get the next or the next or the next......
That's probably a little pessimistic. It would have to be a really bad wasp season for wasps to affect more than 5-15% of colonies, even nucs. That's not to say it won't happen but that's where bee husbandry comes in and taking effective measures, the most important of which is intercepting scouting wasps before they get a chance to communicate the location of the nuc(s) back to their nests.

Thank you for your thoughts.
No problem - anytime!

Where a colony is weak because of disease or other underlying reason then I believe it's best for nature to get's its way and wasps play an important part in that respect. With nucs however it's a different story because the 'weakness' is in many cases just a manifestation of the 'fledgling' status of the nuc and as such any measures which help protect an affected nuc should IMHO be attempted.
 

pargyle 

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Can someone describe the glass trick a little more? Are we talking a big sheet covering the front of the hive or just a small piece in front of the entrance - or something inbetween?
Plus how close, a bee space or resting against the landing platform?
Sorry for all the questions, but also suffering robbing from a smaller colony.
Just a piece of glass or polycarbonate - 2 foot or about 18" square but smaller will do it - just prop it up at an angle in front of the entrance. Depending on how big your pane of glass is and the height of your stand you might need to stand it on a couple of bricks or something to raise it up a bit. The bees will find their way around gaps at the side of the glass ...
 

oliver90owner 

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Sideways tunnels of mesh are another ploy; bees use them and wasps try to gain access through the mesh of the tunnel and the tunnel also allows the bees to defend the entry/exit far more effectively - only one wasp to deal with at a time.
 

Luminos 

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I used an acrylic crown board last summer, as I don't have any glass
 

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