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Author Topic: Yellow Jacket horror story  (Read 3176 times)
TwoHoneys
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« on: November 05, 2012, 07:09:05 AM »

Yellow Jackets have simply decimated most of my hives. In my short 6 beekeeping years, I've never seen anything like the massive number of YJs I see this year. Is anyone else having trouble like this?

Some of the hives killed by YJs were Langs and some were TBH; I'd fed some, but some not; I'd reduced the entrances on the Langs but not on the TBHs.

-Liz
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tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 07:53:13 AM »

That should be coming to an end with this colder weather we are having now. Next year, start by trapping in the spring the get the queens as they come out of the ground. Then run your traps most of the season. For most of the year they like to feed on protein (meat). Later in the fall they like something sweet. The traps were really used for wax moths but work real good on the YJ's. You can find the recipe to put into the soda bottle on this forum and others. It's just water, sugar, vinegar, and a banana peel. This winter, get busy and make yourself some robber screens to place on your bees for next year.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 06:19:50 PM by tefer2 » Logged
AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 12:52:41 PM »

Back when I worked for the state, the rangers would take a tuna can with a little tuna in it and dust it with a little Sevin.  Put it where animals can not get to it.  Yellow jackets love tuna. 
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 01:48:57 PM »

perhaps a search of @ least immediate area, ( 50yrds ), they nest in the ground, try to eliminate the close ones for next year.
Sorry,
Drew
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Nyleve
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 04:41:41 PM »

Ok but besides the poisoned tuna can, how do you elimate these monsters? We had a huge battle with them this fall too.
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 04:49:32 PM »

I'm gonna get heck for this but here gos nuthin: Smiley

1. Find hole in ground, usually by root, rock, ect.
2. Add two cups gasoline, quickly ! 
3. Run !
 Really is not as environmentally unfriendly as it sounds. Certainly no worse than fracking.  Wink
Happy hunting,
Drew
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 06:26:05 PM »

If using gas you should cover the hole with a chunk of plywood. It's the gas fumes that will do a number on all kinds of bugs. You just want to keep the vapors in the hole for awhile.
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AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 06:39:47 PM »

If you do you not like the idea of gas in the ground, you can always dig them up and give them a bath.   Amazing how a little soapy water can clean up a problem.   But you have to find the nest first. 
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JPBEEGETTER
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 07:13:29 PM »

I've had a bunch too and I'm not afraid to gas 'em ,come out of the ground didn't it??
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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 08:50:32 PM »

it's been bumblebees for me.  i bought some hives a few weeks ago and a few days after i moved them to my place there were dozens of dead bumblebees in front of the hives and several more trying to get in.  i noticed one today and the guard bees dispatched it.
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Nyleve
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 10:14:07 PM »

My husband will be thrilled to blow them up with gas. They've been attacking him every time he goes through their neighbourhood on his riding mower. Heck he wanted to kill them this fall but I told him it was too late in the season to do any real damage.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 12:54:12 AM »

I dug up my first underground yellow jacket hive this summer just to learn their habits. 

The problem is the buggers start flying very early in the morning and in cold weather.  I was trying to kill the returning forages as I dug; but they keep coming and coming.  I used the commercial foam spray, but that gets pretty expensive.  After reading Allen’s advice, I wonder what would happen if I covered their entrance holes in soapy foam instead?  Do you think trying to crawl through soapy foam would kill them?

BTW… I need to post a photo of a nest of yellow jackets that COMPLETELY filled one of my honeybee nucs!  Pretty amazing.  There must have been thousands in there.  I introduced them to the freezer for 4 days in Sept.  They don't do too well at 0F.
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TwoHoneys
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 07:01:30 AM »

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. And for your commiseration. I'm still sort of reeling from the damage these slick little ugly mean buggers have caused. Until this year, I simply thought of the YJs as a nuisance and not as the Ultimate Enemy. Now, I'm gonna hunt them down and destroy every last one of them.

-Liz
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 09:45:36 AM »

Liz,
 Don't, "Blow them up" ! No flame involved, (unless this is a sophisticated plot to '86 hubby Smiley Just a cup or two of gas, (doesn't take much) down the hole, the fumes will do the work.
Cheers,
Drew
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duck
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 09:12:54 PM »

road flare ease into hole as it burns, then hold or prop it up in there for a few minutes.  will kill the nest.  you can dig it up after that.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 08:43:59 AM »

Correct in what was stated about it not taking much gasoline.  Those fumes will spread out for an wide *and* fall to the lowest levels...start out with a cup and pour the gas at night....if gas is what you choose.

Ed
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 08:52:13 AM »

road flare ease into hole as it burns, then hold or prop it up in there for a few minutes.  will kill the nest.  you can dig it up after that.
Have you used that approach, duck?  I'm curious as to how it worked out.  Sulphur?

Ed

ETA:  To everybody...  The heaviest damage you can do to the yellow jackets is to put bait traps out in late winter to early spring so that you might catch some of the queens that will be flying then.  If you catch one queen you wipe out an entire colony.  th_thumbsupup
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
2Sox
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 10:22:18 AM »

I only saw yellow jackets hanging around my hives that have died out and being robbed by bees from other colonies. 

But I DID see an absolutely HUGE wasp take out bees inflight, settle on a branch, behead the bee and proceed to lunch. Watched this a couple of times and I tried to capture this thing but missed.  I had never seen anything like it.  It was as big as a large man's smallest finger.  Anybody know what this is?
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2012, 11:34:31 AM »

cicada killer ?
Cheers,
Drew
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2Sox
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 12:10:03 PM »

I think this might be the culprit:

http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/stinging/gianthornet.htm
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »

I had to deal with an in ground YJ nest last year that was bigger than a basket ball. After a can of wasp spray slowed them down some I dumped a box of moth balls into the hole and covered it up. I finally wiped them out but it took some work.
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D Coates
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2012, 03:03:01 PM »

The one time I had one in the back yard, I waited until night fall and poured a pot of boiling water gently down the hole.  Those who tried to get out were killed immediately by direct contact with the water.  The "survivors" were steamed to death in the underground nest.  It was cheap, easy and more fun than I like to admit.  They'd gotten me good 4 or 5 times while mowing the yard the day before.  The was a dead patch in my yard about the size of a softball for about a month but it closed in and life went on.  The gasoline takes a whole lot longer for the grass to grow back.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2012, 07:10:09 PM »

OK, I’ll certainly get flamed for saying this, but I think dumping gasoline into the ground is idiotic.  Sorry.  While most will probably evaporate and just contaminate the air we all breath, some may seep down into your well water and contaminate it.  It only takes 5 parts per billion of benzene to contaminate your water.  Try to sell a house sometime with a contaminated water supply.

After actually digging up a ground dwelling yellow jacket nest this summer, I doubt some of these methods are going to be very effective to begin with; at least not against the nest I dug up.  The location of the real nest underground was a good 3 feet (horizontally) from the entrances.  By the time I got done digging, the lawn liked like a scene from the movie Caddyshack.  Nothing poured down the entrance holes even had a remote chance of getting to the actual nest.  Yes, vapors might, but in concentrations high enough to kill the insects?  I’m skeptical.  (I’ve tried to kills moles and gophers before with smoke bombs; vapors don’t work on them either).  
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2012, 07:14:42 PM »

Yes, vapors in amounts large enough to kill insects and the vapor will spread quickly and thoroughly. 

I agree that using gas isn't an environmentally friendly tactic but neither is filling the holes with other types of poison...such as smoke bombs, but I'd bet that gasoline vapors would take out the moles.

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
BlueBee
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2012, 07:25:11 PM »

I think the moles in Michigan may be a little hardier than your moles in Alabama  grin
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2012, 08:27:46 AM »

I can't believe nobody has addressed the obvious, after all the talk about Trap-outs.  Before anybody takes the trouble to point out the flaw, that the YJ's would simply go back into the nest around the cone, I would like to say that it would also be obvious to direct the cone into a cage instead of letting them fly.

Covering the hole would cut out the light.  Leaving the funnel, which can be made of window screen or #8 cloth, if you're a purist, to be the source of light and the way out for workers.  Nothing would have to be sealed off, just block the light so the funnel "looks" like the way out.  A good chunk of scrap plywood, and dirt piled around the edges.

Eventually the nest would be depleted and the problem would be solved by mice or some other animal seeking protein.  The back entrance can be blocked, or covered with a second funnel trap.  Alternatively one could lure the insects in by baiting, possibly with tuna fish.

If there's any doubt, you can see the trap I wrote into an "instructable" 5 or 6 years ago.  I regularly trap a half 15 oz Peanut butter jar full of flies in days this way.  I haven't had problems with the YJ's, I've been having super robbing problems and I suppose the robber screens have been confounding this kind of action on their part.


[url=http://www.instructables.com/id/Fly-Trap]http://www.instructables.com/id/Fly-Trap
[/url]
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2012, 09:03:38 PM »

 applause applause applause

Nice Instructable CapnChkn and good idea.  

Looks like you might have found a mutant fly for the photo in step 1.....or maybe photoshop  grin
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2012, 06:26:38 PM »


Photoshop?
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sterling
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2012, 03:23:22 PM »

OK, I’ll certainly get flamed for saying this, but I think dumping gasoline into the ground is idiotic.  Sorry.  While most will probably evaporate and just contaminate the air we all breath, some may seep down into your well water and contaminate it.  It only takes 5 parts per billion of benzene to contaminate your water.  Try to sell a house sometime with a contaminated water supply.

After actually digging up a ground dwelling yellow jacket nest this summer, I doubt some of these methods are going to be very effective to begin with; at least not against the nest I dug up.  The location of the real nest underground was a good 3 feet (horizontally) from the entrances.  By the time I got done digging, the lawn liked like a scene from the movie Caddyshack.  Nothing poured down the entrance holes even had a remote chance of getting to the actual nest.  Yes, vapors might, but in concentrations high enough to kill the insects?  I’m skeptical.  (I’ve tried to kills moles and gophers before with smoke bombs; vapors don’t work on them either).


  
My neighbor kills moles by putting a hose over his exaust on his lawn tractor and inserting it into the mole tunnel and lets the tractor idle for a time.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2012, 03:55:52 PM »

OK, here’s a photo of my “work” digging up my first yellow jacket nest.



You don’t want to see the mess I make trying to get rid of moles  grin  
I wonder if I could stuff some grits into my mole hills to get rid of them rascals ?
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sterling
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2012, 06:40:56 PM »

OK, here’s a photo of my “work” digging up my first yellow jacket nest.



You don’t want to see the mess I make trying to get rid of moles  grin  
I wonder if I could stuff some grits into my mole hills to get rid of them rascals ?



I wouldn't waste grits on a stupid mole. He ain't worth a mess of grits. grin
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Sparky
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« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2012, 08:55:32 PM »



This is the kind of hornet that was hanging around near the house in a bush in later part of summer. Them boogers can take a pretty good dose of spray before they are killed.
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tefer2
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« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2012, 09:12:30 PM »

Bluebee, you sure you didn't step on a landmine there! grin
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2012, 02:17:08 AM »

No, I save the explosives for the moles  grin

As I noted earlier in this tread, I had yellow jackets move into one of my foam nucs this summer.  Here's a photo of what they did.



The buggers seemed to like my foam nucs too.  This is a 4 frame nuc (top cover is on the left side of photo) that I was going to super for winter....until I found the bottom story was packed with yellow jackets.

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rober
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« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2012, 11:09:01 AM »

here's a fun way to get rid of moles. it's kinda' pricey. i looked at the segment on how this thing is built & saw that the gas mixing section is part of a mixing head type cutting torch. i hooked a rubber tube to my cutting torch & put a bent piece of copper tubing on the other end to insert into the mole tunnel. i then pulled the hose from the bent copper & ignited it with a propane torch. the results were the same as in the rodenator video. if you tried this on the yellow jackets i think you'd end up with a lot of p.o.'d yellow jackets. the hassle is rolling the torch to where it's needed. a mini set of gas bottles like they use in junkyards would be ideal for this.

http://www.rodenator.com/

here's a newer copy cat of the same thing...

http://www.rodentblaster.com/
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 11:24:30 AM by rober » Logged
ScooterTrash
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« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2012, 08:24:25 PM »

Thanks for the X-Mas recommendation; http://www.rodentblaster.com/
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