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Author Topic: Yellow Jacket horror story  (Read 3299 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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"In a dream I returned to the river of bees" W.S. Merwin
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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Maryland Beekeeper
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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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"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
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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"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
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