Once again, I don't claim know much about bees.
I really want to go all in on yellowjacket traps next spring, but I think I don't know the whole story.
Prior to getting bees, I've had a live-and-let-live attitude towards yellowjackets. Some varieties are great predators, and they can be beneficial at keeping nuisance insect populations under control. However these are the yellowjackets I need to protect my hives from, and I am more than willing to be proactive if it helps.
I know that there are a lot of different types of hornets, and I want to kill all of the yellowjackets that are picking my bees off the landing boards. What if the yellowjackets are targeting bees with mites because they are easier to catch? That seems beneficial to me
The traps that worked great for me this year are called Rescue and they rely on a scent of rotted meat to bring the yellowjackets in. They are very effective, but I am concerned that I am killing the buzzards of the yellowjacket family when it is the Yellowjacket "eagles" which are picking off my bees.
I noticed that yellowjackets overran a couple poorly executed attempts at making breeding nucs. I should have been watching more closely, but in 2 days, all the bees (about 3 cups) were gone and the yellowjackets had cleared all the eggs, larvae and pupae from the comb. This was healthy comb from a fresh cutout.
So I am also wondering how big a role yellowjackets might play in controlling wax moths in unoccupied comb? Empty comb gets chewed up by the moths pretty quickly. So it seems that around here the yellowjackets don't help much.
I don't generally overthink things, in fact there are a lot of times more thinking would have improved the outcome of my earlier endeavors. I am sure there are entomological experts on here that would have informed input. So should I just kill all I can? Let them be? Strategies for targeting the worst actors?