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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default Help! Hornets....

    I went to check the hive today and found no guards at the entrance. I knocked on the hive and got a bit of a buz but still no guards even when I rattled the entrance reducer. A hornet then flew straight up the the entrance and would have gone straight in if I hadn't batted it away. Thinking the guards had been killed I closed off the entrance and watched the hive for a time. No girls were returning to the hive and a couple of hornets were showing interest. I made up some syrup and filled the top feeder. (it's still 30 degC here and not rained since april). I left the hive for half an hour and checked the site to find out what to do. As a trap I put some cat food in a bucket with a couple of inches of water and the hornets love this but don't drown in it. I checked the hive again and the girls sounded pretty angry so I opened the entrance to the smallest opening and ran to the house as the girls exploded out of the hive. I gave them 10 minutes before going back and found a lot of activity like the training flights we get late afternoon. A few hornets were in this and I saw one bee being taken. I managed to net three hornets and despatch them (kiddies fishing net). and soon it was just the bees and they were calming down a lot. I've now got the entrance on the smallest opening (about 1.5 in). If the guards have been taken, how long before they are replaced and how do I get the hornets to drown in the bucket? I haven't got a prayer finding the hornets nest as the land at the side of us is like jungle.
    Kristos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default Make a trap

    i made a trap for yellowjackets using an empty milk jug. Do a search on here and you will find the exact directions. But I didn't have the things it ask for at the time, I just used an empty milk jug, cut a 3/4-1" hole on the curve at the top. Filled it 1/4way full with water and put chunks of watermelon in there. I checked it the other day, hundreds of yellowjackets, dozens of european hornets, and dozens of moths. It did seem to help. I see far less wasp,hornets ect. bothering the hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,787

    Default

    Nice "outside the box" tap there Dhood!

    Kristos...
    Try puting the cat food in a 2 liter soda bottle, or a water bottle, some kind of clear bottle with a narrow neck. Or a milk jug like Dhood did. You can cap the bottle and cut a couple holes 1" diameter a in the tapered portion of the neck of the bottle. Or use watermellon, as it worked for Dhood!

    Also, what size is your hive? (how many boxes and what size)? Don't let the girls have very much empty space, they need to be crowded in order to protect their combs.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    Would robber screens help.

    I think they would. Look up robber screens and make one of those too.
    Troy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default

    We've been out for the day and just checked the hive. No guards again and when the entrance reducer was moved 4 hornets came out of the hive. I chased them off with the net when one of the girls came out and got me over the eye. I found the stinger in my eye brow with lots of venom in it so not so bad. We got dressed up, smoked the hive well and put a queen excluder under the brood box with no problems. The entrance reducer is back on the smallest opening of around 1.5 inches. We've got a brood box with one super on and a hive top feeder on top of that. We're coming (we hope) to the end of a bad spell where we haven't had rain since april and I'm feeding once a week with 1 kilo of sugar. I've had the hornet trap under the hive all day with cat food and concentrated orange in 2 inches of water and there's nothing in it. The hornets come boldly straight to the hive entrance and just ignore the trap.
    Any advice would be welcome. We've talked to a Greek who lost 17 hives one year to hornets (we're Brits in Crete).

    Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Quick fix.

    Cut a piece of 1/8" hardware cloth/screen so that you can reduce the entrance and the bees can still breath and or ventilate. I can be folded like an "L" and stapled to the hive entrance.

    Good luck.
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    198

    Default

    Well, I don't know about hornets, but for yellow jackets I've had really good luck using a trap baited with a small piece of liver. I had a few empty supers I was letting the girls clean out & noticed a few yellow jackets feeding. After putting out the yellow jacket traps with liver, they were both half full within 24 hours & it was pretty much just honey bees examining the comb. I suspect if the hornets are taking bees, then they might be more interested in protein than sugar this time of year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default

    reneal, that's a good idea. Everytime I use chicken liver to fish the yellow jackets are all over them. That would probaly work much better for yellowjackets.

    Kristos, what kind of hornets are they? if they are actually going in the hive, I would say they have weakened the hive and are eating bee larva. I've seen European and bald faced hornets catch bees at the entrance but never one go inside.

    Also, when I set up the trap i put it about 30 yrds. away from the hive, but in the direction that the hornets were flying. I have never seen them flying to it, but there are more in it every time i check. I would think baiting a trap and putting it under the hive would attract more pest near the hive. And, if your open feeding, you'll notice that the hornets come after the bees more often when there are alot of them flying around a feeder in the open.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for your ideas guys.
    They're oriental hornets. I'll try to get pics today of the little b&s*£ds.
    There's and interesting article here http://www.newscientist.com/article....ine-news_rss20

    I'll try baiting a trap with protein but I'm not feeling too hopefull. The hornets coming straight to the hive. They know exactly where it is and what they want.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Hornets

    Are the bigger than the bees? If so you could use a entrance reducer that is so small that the bees have a little trouble squeezing through but the hornets cannot.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Hornets

    Are the hornets bigger than the bees? If so you could use a entrance reducer that is so small that the bees have a little trouble squeezing through but the hornets cannot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Hornets

    Also you could consider moving the hive a few miles away. The hornets would get trying to get home and could not find the hive. I moved a hive that was being robbed bees that had very little brood no honey, about to starve now they have two frames of brood some honey, pollen. could work

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    if this hive has had no guard bees for a while (several days if i understand correctly) my money says they are doomed. the only question i see is will they all be killed by the hornets or will they abscond? here in the states i would shake these bees out and store the comb before its shredded. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    mt. airy, surry county, nc
    Posts
    217

    Default

    hey kristos, dhood is right about keeping the trap a little away from the hive. you might be attracting them to the hive and then they prefer it over the bait

    would like to here more about keeping bees in Greece
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Angry the problem with insect traps

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristos View Post
    We've been out for the day and just checked the hive. No guards again and when the entrance reducer was moved 4 hornets came out of the hive. I've had the hornet trap under the hive all day and there's nothing in it. The hornets come boldly straight to the hive entrance and just ignore the trap.
    (we're Brits in Crete). Chris
    Take the trap from under your hive! You are luring more hornets to the hive. Make more traps and disperse them around the area, but not close to the hive, especially put some in that "jungle" you mentioned. Lure the #&!% hornets away from your bees and then KILL them.:mad:

    GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HUNTING
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for your help everyone.

    I had a trap under the hive for a day to see if I could get the hornets that have already found the bees. I've now got traps no closer than around 30 meters and they're baited with fish (This is a really good article and well worth a read http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org...candritsos.pdf )

    I've got a queen excluder on the bottom of the brood box so the hornets can't get into the hive and I've got the entrance reducer down to one bee size hole so the hornets cant get through that. I've also got an additional reducer in front of that on a bigger opening to give the girls a bit of shelter as they enter the hive. Also the bees have built a laberynth in prop on the bottom board full of bee size holes. I used to clean it off but they like it so now I leave it. Perhaps it's one of their ways of protecting the hive.The feeder is built into a shallow top box so it's not open. To fill it I just take off the top cover and pour through the inner cover hole and the girls let me do that at anytime so long as I work at the back of the hive.

    I don't think overheating should be a problem. I've had the entrance reduced before when it's been 40 degrees in the shade with no problems (although not down to one hole). The hives under an oak and we're in the foothills of the mountains so there's always a breeze. It's now in the mid 20's and last night we had the first rain since April. I'm hoping that a change in the weather might turn things around.
    Here in Crete the girls get off the work early and they are all usually home again by midday. Things are then quiet until late afternoon when the training flights start.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default feed back needed

    Kristos posted>I had a trap under the hive for a day to see if I could get the hornets that have already found the bees. I've now got traps no closer than around 30 meters and they're baited with fish (This is a really good article and well worth a read http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org...candritsos.pdf )

    Kristos posted>I've got a queen excluder on the bottom of the brood box so the hornets can't get into the hive

    Kristos posted>I had a trap under the hive for a day to see if I could get the hornets that have already found the bees. I've now got traps no closer than around 30 meters and they're baited with fish (This is a really good article and well worth a read http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org...candritsos.pdf )

    Kristos posted>I've got a queen excluder on the bottom of the brood box so the hornets can't get into the hive

    I enjoyed your link on trapping wasps and hornets, a very good file. I saved a copy of it on HD so I could refer to it and not have to find it again.

    The excluder under the hive is a good idea in the short term as well. Please post again to let us know how the "other" women in your life are doing.
    Good luck.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I'm running out of ideas now (and bees). I've read all I can about oriental hornets and they seem just about unstoppable. I've got traps baited with chicken and fish and I've tried sweet traps with melon etc and I haven't caught a single hornet. There are always three or four of them around the hive and they easily pick off the bees and fly up to eat them in the trees. The
    hornets aren't at all aggressive to humans when they are away from their nest and I must have killed a couple of dozen of them at the hive. I must stop swatting at them though....... sooner or later I'll get stung.
    Anyway I've still got the queen excluder on the bottom of the hive to keep the hornets out of the brood box and it's been on for about six days. Can anyone tell me how long I can keep it there with no problems. This might be a stupid question as before long I'll have lost my bees if things carry on. Today I moved the hive. Only 50 meters away but 90 degrees to the hornets flight path. I know 50 meters isn't enough it's the only place I've got and it's the only thing I've got left to try.:mad:

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,655

    Default

    Kristos,

    Sorry to hear of your problem. What we have here are these:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespa_crabro

    These are nasty too, but usually attack a hive one at a time. This time of the year at night I can turn on my outside flood lights and attract them in and kill them with a fly swater. Got 5 last night!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Crete Greece
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Tomorrow I'm making an entrance reducer out of a queen excluder to stop the buggers getting under the brood box. We're only small time bee keeps with one hive and may have moved on to two at some time but this is heartbreaking. The girls have been really good and I've only had three or four stings altogether. If we lose these I'll call it a day and look after the olives and grapes.

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