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Author Topic: Yellow jackets  (Read 1755 times)
ziffabeek
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« on: November 22, 2011, 08:52:49 AM »

Ok, I just did a search of yellow jackets and found this quote by Kathyp:

Quote
other thing is that syrup will attract things like yellowjackets.  even a queen-right hive can be wiped out by those.

and now, as usual, I'm freaking out.  Undecided  For the first time, our hives are surrounded by yellow-jackets.  There have been a few gathering around the outsides in the last months, but now there are just tons.  My splits are still pretty small.  I'm worried that when the bees go into cluster the yellow-jackets will invade.

How do they wipe out a hive? By killing the bees?  Eating the honey?  They seem to be worse since I mountain-camped the hives  and spill some sugar outside of them.  I thought they liked meet but they sure are attracted to the sweet.  I've got a trap going, but thinking I need to do more.  I'm just not sure what!

Do yellowjackets fly through the winter?  I was kind of hoping the cold would get rid of them.

Aaack!

love,
ziffa
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 09:02:08 AM »

Do yellowjackets fly through the winter?  I was kind of hoping the cold would get rid of them.
love,
ziffa

No, the yellowjackets will be killed by a hard freeze.  Only the queen yellowjacket lives through the winter.
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T Beek
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 09:06:12 AM »

We just went through one of the worse years in memory w/ the little beasts.  We set out traps of 2-3 tbs of jelly to a half pint water in a jar w/ pencil thin holes in top.  You can catch them by the thousands this way and they'll be less interested in your bees honey.  

Make sure your entries are closed to their smallest opening.

thomas
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 09:29:56 AM »

they were awful here this year.  i ended up getting several traps and hanging them around the bee yard.  that helped a lot.  if you are going to do that, use the commercial bait that comes with the traps and not something sweet.  you'll end up with bees at the trap even if they can't get in.

close the hive to the smallest opening just as you would for any robbing.  that's about all you can do.  you are a long ways from a freeze, i'm betting, so killing as many as you can as quickly as you can is the solution.

one thing about the traps...  hang them a few feet from the hives.  this helps with the bee agitation as it draws the YJ's away a bit.  i tried putting them right at the hives and even though i caught lots, my bees were in a frenzy. 

Quote
and now, as usual, I'm freaking out.

sorry.  i seem to do that to you a lot   evil
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 09:42:11 AM »

Quote
sorry.  i seem to do that to you a lot
  lol, Kathy, yes well . . . my husband would say it isn't hard   tongue especially in regards the bees! grin

Thanks for the tips, I think I will put out some more traps and roll my entry reducers over, they are on the medium opening. 

Ugh!  Well, it's supposed to be warm this weekend, maybe I can find their nest and gas em.  I'm worried that it is right under a hive though because I don't see them flying off much. 

I never thought about them much before, but I now have a distinct dislike of yellow-jackets.  I'll have to be careful, because that can be dangerous in Atlanta Wink

Thanks again all!  And Happy Gobble Gobble week!

love,
ziffa

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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 10:53:03 AM »

do be careful.  i ran the tractor over a nest a couple of years ago and go stung up.  had a lady call this year and her sister had done the same. 

i usually find them at the base of something like the blackberries or tree roots.

happy hunting.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Hemlock
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 11:26:58 AM »

we saw a ton of YJ as well yet they never caused any issues.  Even when the Neighbor spilled a pound or two of powered sugar on the ground.  Everything with wings & a stinger showed up for that.  Couldn't go outside at all.  Still No hornets in the hives.

Also, if it's cool enough for bees to cluster wouldn't hornets be to cold to leave their nest?

I imagine the easiest way to get rid of YJ down by you is chunk a shovelful of Fire ant nest on 'em.  That's what we did in AL.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 11:30:41 AM »

I imagine the easiest way to get rid of YJ down by you is chunk a shovelful of Fire ant nest on 'em.  That's what we did in AL.

Fighting fire with fireants!
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MTWIBadger
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 11:39:22 PM »

T Beek

Could you explain your yellow jacket traps in detail so I can duplicate your success?
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 07:09:41 AM »

Thought I already did but grin........take 2-3 tbls of jelly, add to half pint of water, stir, put pencil size hole (s) in lid, place near beeyard and wait.  Should be half full of yellowjackets w/in 24 hours, my bees don't bother w/ the traps.

thomas
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 02:45:24 PM by T Beek » Logged

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JackM
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 08:56:36 AM »

YJ are meat eaters, the more rotten the better, put some meat in a one way trap, you will gather many.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 09:16:50 AM »

put pencle size hole (s) in lid,
thomas

Thomas, can't a bee get through a pencil sized hole?  That's a quarter of an inch isn't it?   Or have I been using unusually fat pencils?
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 09:42:03 AM »

Bees won't mess w/ it once the YJ find it.  I've rarely pulled a bee frommy traps. 

Good point on 'meat' as an attractant, but it'll attract other unwanted pests as well and won't drown the offenders like a jelly syrup IMO.

thomas
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hardwood
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2011, 01:23:53 PM »

Meat is the right bait for YJ in the spring and summer...they need the protein for rearing brood. In the fall sugars (carbs) tend to be a better bait for them although you have to ensure you won't trap your bees.

Beer seems to work pretty well all year.

Scott
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2011, 04:03:29 PM »

ziffabeek..   I'm a Clemson grad so I caught your comment about disliking yellow jackets...  LOL!!   I don't like 'em and I ain't worried about who knows   Smiley

John
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AllenF
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2011, 09:00:36 PM »

Back in the day when I worked for the state, some of the DNR boys on some of the historic site would rid themselves of yellowjackets in the springtime with cans of tuna with sevin dust on top.   
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BlueBee
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2011, 07:38:47 AM »

I ran into a guy at Harbor Freight this fall buying one of those cheap tennis racket like electric bug zappers.  The kind you swat at a flying insect and it zapps them to death with voltage.  

I asked him what he was going to do with it.  He said he had a yellow jacket nest in his porch and was going to use the tennis racket thing to swat and kill the yellow jackets as he tried to remove the nest…..

I asked him if he really thought the tennis racket bug zapper was going to work for removing yellow jackets.  He seemed quite convinced it was a great idea!  Who am I to argue with a bee man?   Smiley
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tefer2
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2011, 09:31:17 AM »

I don't know about killing a whole nest with the racket but I have first hand knowledge that it works with a handful around your hives. Broke mine killing bald face hornets.
I now have a fly swatter hanging on a nail with every group.
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 11:33:15 PM »

I use a shop vac on YJs when there is an electrical receptacle close by.  I've wiped out a couple of nests doing this as well, even getting the queen.  A lot of times the YJs will overnight near a hive or feeding station in a group.  They'll be under a tarp or piece of wood.  Get out there early before it warms up and suck em up. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2011, 03:20:49 AM »

Tefer2, It’s good to know those electric insect swatters might actually work.  My experience has been swatting at a stinging insect tends to make them more aggressive.  However maybe if you kill them on the first swat, it will work.  I think the electric swatters were on sale for $1.99 that day.  I was tempted to buy one, but I just figured it wouldn’t work.  After hearing your review, I think I’ll pick one up!

I have found that my warm foam hives and nucs were great at keeping all the yellow jackets out this fall.  My nucs and hives didn’t even start to cool down until mid November.  This allowed the honeybees to remain out of cluster and guard the entrance 24-7.  
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