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ShinySideUp 

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I'm thinking I'm going to have a very bad wasp problem come the Autumn. Today, they were nosing around the apiary and my laurel trees have more wasps on them this year than I have ever seen before. Anyone else noticed an extra increase in the wasp population this Spring?
 

Codford 

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I’ve seen a few hanging around the hives and super stacks already - can’t recall seeing them this early before.
 

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I'm thinking I'm going to have a very bad wasp problem come the Autumn. Today, they were nosing around the apiary and my laurel trees have more wasps on them this year than I have ever seen before. Anyone else noticed an extra increase in the wasp population this Spring?
One of our forum members has a solution for that. They vacuum them up.
 

Nannysbees 

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I'm thinking I'm going to have a very bad wasp problem come the Autumn. Today, they were nosing around the apiary and my laurel trees have more wasps on them this year than I have ever seen before. Anyone else noticed an extra increase in the wasp population this Spring?
Yes seen quite a few and caught several in traps already.Struggle with the concept of trapping them but they are a blinking nuisance.
 

Karol 

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Yes seen quite a few and caught several in traps already.Struggle with the concept of trapping them but they are a blinking nuisance.
They may well be to beekeepers but on balance they are still a beneficial insect.

It would be no surprise if there is an inverse corrolation between hive diseases and wasp populations. High wasp populations improve bee fitness at a population level.

At this time of year, these are most likely still queen wasps especially given how cold it has been. It might sound like an opportunity to get rid of a problem by killing them now, but doing so creates other problems elsewhere. Wasps eradicate vast quantities of other insect pests. Allotments will suffer higher pest infestations resulting in higher pesticide use. There is an inverse corrolation between wasp populations and the incidence of Lyme's disease. Wasps weed out infected hives and reduce spread of bee diseases by removing honey thus reducing robbing by healthy bees.
 

B+. 

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They may well be to beekeepers but on balance they are still a beneficial insect.

It would be no surprise if there is an inverse corrolation between hive diseases and wasp populations. High wasp populations improve bee fitness at a population level.

At this time of year, these are most likely still queen wasps especially given how cold it has been. It might sound like an opportunity to get rid of a problem by killing them now, but doing so creates other problems elsewhere. Wasps eradicate vast quantities of other insect pests. Allotments will suffer higher pest infestations resulting in higher pesticide use. There is an inverse corrolation between wasp populations and the incidence of Lyme's disease. Wasps weed out infected hives and reduce spread of bee diseases by removing honey thus reducing robbing by healthy bees.
Just curious: are you aware of any bee diseases that are transferable to wasps?
 

The Poot 

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High wasp populations also lead to total colony death. It’s no consolation to know they died healthily.
I think a balance needs to be struck. In my rural area my trapping of the odd queen wasp in my apiary will not affect wasp populations in the wider area of fields, hedges, barns, outbuildings etc etc.
I agree with Nannysbees, they can be a blinking nuisance and I don’t feel guilty about controlling the numbers in my comparatively very small patch.
 

Boston Bees 

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As long as the entrance is small during wasp season then I view wasps as a tool of natural selection. Bit like winter.
 

ShinySideUp 

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I do leave wasps in the Spring apart from killing all the queens that over-winter in my winter gazebo (it goes over the rabbit run during the worse months). This time I found seventeen queen wasps, none of them made it out alive. I look upon it as control rather than eradication, eradicating a native species of anything is always a bad idea. Non-native, like mink, Harlequin ladybirds and Japanese Knotweed, I'd quite happily see gone.
 

nikca 

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Those complaining about wasps have not had to live with a few asian and European hornet nests near the apiary. This is what the badminton racket is for. And the shotgun.
 

Karol 

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Just curious: are you aware of any bee diseases that are transferable to wasps?
Wasps appear to be remarkably resilient and I am not aware of any transferable diseases. I know that various pathogens have been trialled in New Zealand without success. This shouldn't be a surprise really given that wasps hunt for insects in all kinds of nasty pathogen rich places. Apart from having a high level of resilience wasps also appear to operate a quaranting system where diseased foragers are not allowed back into the nest by guarding sentries.
 

Karol 

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High wasp populations also lead to total colony death. It’s no consolation to know they died healthily.
<snip>
They do but only in the absence of an appropriate level of integrated wasp management.
 

Woodland bees 

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Those that have bad problems with wasps are your bees very calm? We get loads of wasps and native hornets but don't seem to suffer any problems so far. My bees aren't bad but can be a bit grumpy when inspected and I wonder if they are more likely to defend themselves? I often run without an entrance block as well.
 

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Wasps,' main food is aphids and larvae of insects. Beehives are not their main target.

It is now April, and should we be worried now what will happen in September?

You are not worried about corona at all?

You have had every year wasps. What have happened before?
 

The Poot 

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Interesting question. In 2019 I had a particularly laid back colony and they allowed wasps to come and go as they pleased. I managed to keep them intact thankfully. Other more feisty colonies offered proper resistance.
 

The Poot 

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Wasps,' main food is aphids and larvae of insects. Beehives are not their main target.

It is now April, and should we be worried now what will happen in September?

You are not worried about corona at all?
Good point Finman, we’ll put. September’s a long way off yet.
I‘m not going to worry about Corona though.
 

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