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Author Topic: Yellow Jacket queen  (Read 2149 times)
Cindi
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« on: November 09, 2006, 09:48:12 AM »

It is getting pretty cold here.  I entered a topic where I talked about the problems I had with the yellow jackets invading my colonies a few weeks ago.  It was bad, but I tried to help the colonies as best I could by eliminating as many yellow jackets and bald faced hornets as I could.  I hoped it helped.  The other day a large flying insect was buzzing around my kitchen, thinking it was a wasp I hit it with a flyswatter, and of course looked at it.  It was, what I guess, the queen yellow jacket.  I wonder how many people have seen one.  I imagine her colony was dead from the wintertime and she was heading out to find somewhere to hibernate until spring.  My understanding is that she does not leave the hive until it is time to hide for winter.  This was an amazing sight.  She resembled the queen honeybee in many ways, mostly the length of her abdomen.  Definitely a yellow jacket, so much larger than the other members of her colony, but with the same markings as her colony members.  I would think that seeing the queen of a yellow jacket hive would not be a very common thing.  So, I am curious how many others have seen her in their travels as well.  Maybe I am not as unique as I think that I am with the sights I see in nature around my place.  LOL.  I have other things that I have witnessed at my place too, that I think are rather unusual, which I will be writing about another time.  I keep looking for strange things.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 10:31:53 AM »

Great post! I got into a nest of yellow jackets 2 summers ago while clearing some brush. I went & got my bee suit on and some wasp & hornet spray. When I was done spraying, a large bee came out of the hole and fell over dead. Like you, I was curious. It was almost certainly the queen because of the long, narrow abdomen. Looked surprisingly similar to a honeybee queen. Thanks again for the post.
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Mici
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2006, 10:40:36 AM »



found two big abandoned wasp nests. each had at least 10 queen cells, but no, haven't seen a queen jet, at least i think
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Trot
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2006, 10:45:40 AM »

This is an interesting time of year for all...
Wasps, hornets and bumble bees too, are now gone and only their very large queens can be seen as they search for their winter lodging.
In our parts, (Northern Ontario,) we presently enjoy unusually warm days and the other day there must have been a dozen hornet and wasp queens on my wood-shop window.  They awoke from their sleep and were looking for, who knows what?
At my summer home, where my bees are, I would have reached for the swatter? Here I extended them a stick and they eagerly climbed on.  One by one, I took them out and placed them on the back-yard fence...

For the longest time now, I tell people: "Take a look under your feet and a whole new world will open up before you!"

Regards,
Frank
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 01:42:18 PM »

I took out a yellowjacket nest from my woodpile last year, and found my first yellowjacket queen.  She looked like a very large husky yellowjacket. 

Since them we've found several of them in the fall.  They are quite impressive.  This fall I even found a bald faced hornet queen.  1" +.  Not as impressive as a cicada killer, but intimidating nonetheless.

Mici, Nice nest! Are you refering to the round brown things on that nest picture as queen cells?  They don't look like they "belong" in the nest.  Are they made of mud?

-rick
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Rick
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 01:53:46 PM »

jep those would be queen cells, at least i would think so, plus Trot told me so grin
yeah they probably are mad from mud since they crumble under little pressure
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 08:30:09 AM »

If they are made of mud, I think it may be more likely that they are from a different type of wasp, something in the mud dauber line of wasps.  I'm not how a mud dauber would get in the hornet nest, though.

-rick
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Rick
Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2006, 08:46:37 AM »

This is an interesting time of year for all...
Wasps, hornets and bumble bees too, are now gone and only their very large queens can be seen as they search for their winter lodging.
In our parts, (Northern Ontario,) we presently enjoy unusually warm days and the other day there must have been a dozen hornet and wasp queens on my wood-shop window.  They awoke from their sleep and were looking for, who knows what?
At my summer home, where my bees are, I would have reached for the swatter? Here I extended them a stick and they eagerly climbed on.  One by one, I took them out and placed them on the back-yard fence...

For the longest time now, I tell people: "Take a look under your feet and a whole new world will open up before you!"

Regards,
Frank
Frank
You got me a little confused here.  To whom did you extend the stick and one by one and take them out and placed on the back-yard fence?  Why?  I don't understand what you meant.  I actually saw a bumblebee nest last summer in the ground at a friends place.  It was cool, just a little mound of fluffy kind of stuff and one entrance that the bumbles went in and out of.  Also saw one at my cousin's right beside her house, nestled in some matted roots from which she had grown some wheat to make wheat grass juice.  The remenant matted roots had simply been put into a large pail, which she was going to eventually send out to the compost, but just never got around to it.  Lucky she didn't cause we spent many hours watching the bumbles come in and out.  Yes, Frank, one only has to look under their feet for sure.  This I do all day long.  I have the luxury of working out of my home, being a foster parent of 4 teenager boys, it is a full time job, but allows me to spend almost 365 days a year outside working on our acreage and I love it.  I am only a moment away for anyone that needs me and that is often.  I even have a couple of the boys that have shown interest in bees, so one day when they grow up, they may keep bees too.  I spent quite a bit of time out with the bees swatting yellowjackets, as well as my beer traps that helped.  I have no sympathy for yellowjackets.  I see the aggressive nature when they are attacking bees, it makes me feel so sorry for the girls.  I am sure that yellowjackets do have a place, I know they can be beneficials in the garden, but I would rather hand pick the wormy things that bother some of my plants than allow yellowjackets to annoy and destory the bees.  I cannot believe how brazen the yellows are at trying to enter the colony, even with entrance reducers on.  And when you see one grab a bee as it comes out to guard and fly away with it, my anger heightens.  I have seen them do this on weaker colonies and strong colonies too.  They have the nerve!!!  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2006, 09:43:44 AM »

Sorry Cindi for the confusion.
I was talking about wasp and yellow jacket queens on my shop window. Since my bees are at my summer home, here at home they do not bother the bees.  Therefore I extended them a stick on which they eagerly climbed.  .  .  .  .

End of confusion, I hope?
Cindi, have a nice day...

Regards,
Frank
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2006, 10:13:07 AM »

Frank, oh dear, I'm still confused, but interested.  Why did you extend that yellowjackets, etc. the stick and put them out on the fence?  Were you trying to preserve/save them?  You have a nice day too!!!Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Trot
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2006, 10:50:32 AM »

Yes Cindi, I did save them.  Here at home there is no man-kept bees for miles.  And those things don't do any harm to no honey bees. And yes, they too have the right to this world only not in my wood shop...

And I extended them a stick to crawl on - cause I am scared to pick them up by hand and carry them outside...

And thank you. I will try to have a nice day... I am going to my summer place, to visit my girls. They are calling for 15 cm of snow...

Regards,
Frank
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2006, 12:05:09 AM »

Frank, hope all went well with your girls.  Do you stay at your summer place during the summer, to look after your bees there?  Is it a warmer location than your winter home.  We live in an area where we seldom get snow, when we do, it is a hardship for sure, people just don't understand about snow right around here.  They become the worst drivers inthe world and it honestly makes one not even want to venture out on the roads.  I always make sure that if there is an inkling that there may be any snow on the way, I get out to the store to have everything required on hand to look after the family here.  I have grown up on the south coast of B.C., always lived in a very mild climate.  I do love the snow, but it is far more fun to go to it than have it come to me.  Is there alot of work when there is snow around your hives?  Does it ever cover the hives right over?  I understand that snow is quite porous, so I know that they would not smother, but is there any danger to it?  Do you have problems with animals invading your colonies because you live obviously a distance from your colonies?  There definitely must be a global warming I believe, because as a kid, many, many years ago, we would have snow that would stay for quite a long time in this area, and it would be so cold, but it is not like that at all anymore. 
I was happy to hear that you took the wasps outside, they probably would have perished in your shop.  I love insects and do my best to not do them harm.  My family sometimes thinks that I am rather strange because I rescue so many different insects from dangers.  When I find an enormous banana slug, I don't have the heart to kill it, as I do to the nasty smaller black ones that hide so easily.  Usually the big banana slugs are around the perimeter of a ravine that runs by our home near the bush, they don't seem to come into my gardens in my cultivated areas.  So when I find one that strays too close for comfort, I pick it up and throw it back down the ravine.  That seems to deter them for a bit.  They are enormous, but absolutely majestic in their own right.  Bugs, slugs and grubs, what a wonderful world it is.  Have a good day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2006, 10:15:12 AM »

Micci, They look like mud wasps have used the old wasp comb to make their own cocoon.
I dont think they are queen cells.
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Mici
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2006, 10:17:58 AM »

maybe, i really don't know. i just assumed
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Trot
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2006, 10:57:09 AM »

Hi Cindi !

You know, I did not get to my summer place on Nov 10th!  It is hard to believe, but we on that day had a snow storm for the fifth Friday in a row?!  It is strange?  
As you said, that in your parts drivers on such days behave irresponsibly, so do ours. It is sad that every snow fall shortens so many lives? For that reason alone, I have decided to stay at home. Mainly also, cause on  the last two occasions we too had almost became statistics...
So, my wife is refusing to come - until spring...
Yes Cindi, at our summer place is about 5 degrees warmer - than here in Sudbury. It makes for a big difference. The area is also just off the Great lakes and is right in the snow belt. Well, the wind brings it over - even on some sunny days...It is normal there, to have about 6 feet of snow. The bees do OK. Only one must have top entrances!

I think that I will go visit them today. In the past four Fridays all the snow would melt in a day or so. This time it looks that it might be here to stay?
But one never knows? They are calling for 6 degrees for the next two days.  But we will see.
I do have electric fence around the hives. That is why I have to go there and remove the battery. The bottom wire, (live one is now under the snow !) I did have visitors though!  Raccoons and skunks were feeding on bees at night! But I have installed a "Critter-gitter" on a fence-post and now have no problem at all. I hope it too - keeps the bears off?!

I too enjoy the wildlife and had a pet fox for 15 years. Had two more since but somebody shot them. Have one now and have to go there to give her about 50 pounds of meat for the winter - just to sort of help out. . . .
I do have some kind of ability to sort of connect with animals, wish I could say the same for people... But through the years I learned that if I was in need of a friend I would get myself a dog...

I too, wish you a nice day...

Regards,
Frank
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Finsky
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2006, 11:30:41 AM »


In  autumn I destroyed a wasp hive under the bench of grill-shelter.  I put a torch  under the hive entrance so when wasps come out they burn themselves. But the hive sucked the fire and burned. Tens of youg wasp queen crawled on ground and much more were dead under the hive.  Thanks to heaven that shelter did not took fire.

Another case was when I burned a wasp hive with gasoline.  I poured benzine  under the hive and tried put flame to it. It took time and when it succeeded, fume of benzine had flowed downwards the slope and flame rised one meter longer than I guessed. If I were on down slope, I would have literally fire under my ass and wasp should have something to laugh.
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2006, 07:24:29 PM »

Finsky, Ha, your stories about the fire and wasps are pretty funny, I really laughed when you said that  you could have burned your butt off.  Lucky for you.  It is a shame that these pesky wasps are such nasty things, I have had some pretty bad stings from some over the years, and they just don't hurt for a minute like the bee, they hurt for hours.  Once one went right into the outside of my ear, and actually I had 3 bites, I am grateful it did not go right down the ear channel.  I think that episode began my dislike for this insect.  Regards. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2006, 07:43:48 PM »

Frank
Yikes!!!  Your poor bees.  Did the racoons knock over hives and wreck things?  That is probably the worst thing that could happen to them, I am glad that you have a critter thing now.  I imagine they would do some terrible devastation to the hives, awful stuff.  I have a strong electric fence around my apiary too, with goat wire as well.  We live on a bear path, and I know for sure if they were not strongly protected that the bears would have a hay day.  I haven't had one even try to get in yet, I am grateful for that.  I have had a couple of jolts from the fence, it actually hurts!!!  My husband bent over one day to pick something up and he got it right on the top of his head, man that must have really hurt cause he shaves his head and it is pretty bare skin.  Ouch.  My bees are located on a knoll where I can see them from my kitchen window, and I always look out every morning as soon as first light arrives to ensure that they are all safe and sound, they always have been.  It is a beautiful sight on a warm morning and I know that they will all be out flying so early in the day.  The sun hits that area long long before it arrives upon our house.  I can't wait for summer!!!  My family gets very sick of me talking about the days getting a little lighter minute by another minute every day after the winter solstace.  It is kind of a family joke.  Oh the coming out of the depths of the wintertime.  Gotta love it.  If I can bring a picture in from my computer of my bees, I will post it.  It is always fun to see people's bee yards.  Have an awesome trip to your summer home and drive carefully.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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