Do I Have A Potential Wasp Problem Brewing?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Do I Have A Potential Wasp Problem Brewing?

    Yesterday it hit 70 for the first time this spring. They were very active and bringing in lots of pollen and there was a huge traffic jam at the reduced entrances, so I opened them up. Checked on them a few times during the day and they were busy cleaning out the dead and trash and bringing in pollen. Late afternoon I observed 4 wasps just hanging out on the block hive stand. I watched for a bit and they appeared to be sunning themselves and not moving around much. Then one wasp crawled up to the landing board on one hive and was immediately attacked and killed by the guard bees. After they dispatched that one, the guard bees began attacking the ones on the block. I helped out with my hive tool. Kept an eye on it for a while and closed it up in the evening.
    I have never had any wasp problems and I don't recall if I have ever seen them on the hives before. My concern is that I would like to continue to open up the hives on nice days and can't always babysit them. I was impressed with how they knew about the wasps on the block below and sprung to action once one got too close. But it is early spring and they are just building up so I am hesitating whether they could defend the hive if more than a few came.
    Think this is a "one off" ? Once they discover a hive do they come back with reinforcements? Should I make some wasp traps? The wasps did not seem to be particularly aggressive about getting in the hive. Once I have my robber screens up I won't need to worry about it but that may be another week or so. J

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Do I Have A Potential Wasp Problem Brewing?

    A few hapless (but maybe lucky?) wasps seemed to have wintered in my cover assemblies this year. I wouldn't worry about it. I suspect yours (like mine) are wasps that normally would have died, but somehow found a niche to survive. I believe that most wasps, except for the mated queens which winter by themselves, do not survive the end of the growing season. The ones in my hive seemed logy, too, so I just let them be. Normally wasps fly in cooler temps than bees do.

    Try just slanting the entrances reducers out at a shallow angle (10-15 degrees) to provide more space, but not too much. You can also sweep out the dead 'uns yourself and save the bees a lot of work. I use one of the extra long paint stirring sticks from Home Depot. Just long and stiff enough to do the job. And three for buck, so the price is right. I try to do the sweeps early in the a.m. when the bees are still yawning over their morning honey. If there is too much activity on the floor when you're doing the sweeping, you'll roll a lot of bees.

    Nancy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    It would be better to know what form of wasp you're dealing with. Not all wasps exhibit the same behaviors. Red wasps are thick in my area, and while they are a nuisance in setting up shop in my empty swarm traps, I wouldn't bat an eye worrying they'd get in a populated hive. Most likely, nothing to worry about.
    Season 5. TF.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Re: Do I Have A Potential Wasp Problem Brewing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    It would be better to know what form of wasp you're dealing with. Not all wasps exhibit the same behaviors. Red wasps are thick in my area, and while they are a nuisance in setting up shop in my empty swarm traps, I wouldn't bat an eye worrying they'd get in a populated hive. Most likely, nothing to worry about.
    We have a ton of red wasp in the southern part of the state also.I have to run them out of swarm traps constantly.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    We have a ton of red wasp in the southern part of the state also.I have to run them out of swarm traps constantly.
    Yeah, it's a pain. I've witnessed them attack scout bees before once they start nesting. Have to take down the whole trap, reset it. Even then, chances are a couple will move back in.
    Season 5. TF.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Re: Do I Have A Potential Wasp Problem Brewing?

    Thanks. Not sure what kind of wasp they were as honeybees are my first foray in the bug world. I would call them a common wasp, dark brown/black. See a lot of them in the fall but they rarely bother me. More of an annoyance than anything. Nancy: I have been cleaning out the hives with a stick and just swung out the reducer, but more than 10-15 degrees. I won't be so generous next time. Guess they were lucky,hapless,logy wasps that I shouldn't be too concerned about. J

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