An interesting story about wasps
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2005
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    Default An interesting story about wasps

    I was cleaning up some equipment that had been sitting for a year when I saw a bunch of yellow wasps flying from a shallow super. Funny thing was that even though they flew all around me and a few even lit on my shirt, not a single one stung me. That struck me as unusual as I am used to wasps that sting immediately if their nest is disturbed. When I finished moving the supers, I pulled out the nest which was about 3 inches diameter and tied it to a string and attached it to a nail a few feet away in a protected place. An hour later all of the wasps have returned to the nest and are happily tending their brood.

    Why care about wasps? Because they are predators of many insects such as house flies. I don't mind having them around especially when they show no inclination to sting despite provocation.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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  3. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    that is interesting. i haven't seen yellow wasps around here for a long time. plenty of red ones though, and even though i've become completely tolerant to bee venom, i get a severe reaction when stung by a red wasp.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Hat's off to you. Many would go get a can of raid. I myself might have destroyed it. Next time maybe I will hang it on a nail. Thanks for making me think twice. J

  5. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    Derry, New Hampshire
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Yea they are a great predator. I've seen plenty kill my bees en masse. I kill every one i see now to even the numbers. Once a dearth hits up here they stop at nothing to get into my hives.
    Terrence

  6. #5
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    Jun 2015
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    Litchfield, Ct, USA
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    Yea they are a great predator. I've seen plenty kill my bees en masse. I kill every one i see now to even the numbers. Once a dearth hits up here they stop at nothing to get into my hives.
    The black wasps invade my porch and the yellow jackets try to invade my hives. Well, they used to. I think with more hives=less yellow jackets. I actually don't think I've seen many at all this year, come to think of it. Not nearly as many as previous years.

  7. #6
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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo3 View Post
    The black wasps invade my porch and the yellow jackets try to invade my hives. Well, they used to. I think with more hives=less yellow jackets. I actually don't think I've seen many at all this year, come to think of it. Not nearly as many as previous years.
    I noticed some yellowjackets flying near my home hives years ago. not to the hives but close. watched and saw them go into a flower pot. lifted it and there were hundreds on a huge nest. couldn't care less about me. kept about foraging. Quickly took care of them. Just like a rabbit that decides to graze where my dog roams.......they deserve what they get. Seriously though. although op has found a love for them, they are dangerous. A child can get killed even by a small nest. I got lit up before and man they burn. Don't even get me started on bald faced hornets.
    Terrence

  8. #7
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    Apr 2012
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    Ka'u Hawaii
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    I noticed some yellowjackets flying near my home hives years ago. not to the hives but close. watched and saw them go into a flower pot. lifted it and there were hundreds on a huge nest. couldn't care less about me. kept about foraging. Quickly took care of them. Just like a rabbit that decides to graze where my dog roams.......they deserve what they get. Seriously though. although op has found a love for them, they are.dangerous.
    I agree with eliminating the yellowjackets, which are not native to North America. Furthermore, they can and will build huge nests if they are allowed to remain. These are both a nuisance and potentially harmful to humans and our pets and livestock.

    Paperwasps, on the other hand, don't make large nests, are not very aggressive, and mostly get ignored by me if they're not where they bother me.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 07-20-2019 at 01:48 PM.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I have had a few paperwasps build nests in empty equipment also. Like my swarm traps. Not sure I could convince the scouts to select my location If they have to contend with wasps, so those nests get removed. Otherwise, it is more live and let live. My attitude towards any of the stinging insects has changed drastically since becoming a beekeeper, although yellow jackets are a real nuisance and I don't mind trapping and killing them to keep them out of the hives and feeders.

  10. #9
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    Jul 2016
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    Somerset, NJ
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    [QUOTE=Gino45;1742753]
    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    I noticed some yellowjackets flying near my home hives years ago. not to the hives but close. watched and saw them go into a flower pot. lifted it and there were hundreds on a huge nest. couldn't care less about me. kept about foraging. Quickly took care of them. Just like a rabbit that decides to graze where my dog roams.......they deserve what they get. Seriously though. although op has found a love for them, theyur

    I agree with eliminating the yellowjackets, which are not native to North America. Furthermore, they can and will build huge nests if they are allowed to remain. These are both a nuisance and potentially harmful to humans and our pets and livestock.

    Paperwasps, on the other hand, don't make large nests, are not very aggressive, and mostly get ignored by me if they're not where they bother me.
    Actually there are several species native to North America. Probably most of the ones we encounter.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    I noticed some yellowjackets flying near my home hives years ago.....
    I would encourage everyone to study your local insert population and identification.
    Lots of resources, like just one here:
    https://www.insectidentification.org...0and%20Similar

    The issue is - people will lump together ALL black-and-yellow striped insects, call them "yellow jackets" and then try to kill.
    Well - take the time and learn your local insect population first.

    Just one example:
    there are imported German yellow jackets and then there are local paper wasps (almost identical visually) - to most people these are the SAME insect and is to be destroyed.

    To be honest, I am not entirely sure what I am looking it many times (until I find a nest - the German yellow jackets nest underground; the paper wasps - above ground).
    The wasps are harmless to the bees.
    The "Jackets" could be harmful - to already failing/robbed/sick/weak colonies - usually just scavenging the crumbs, after the fact.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    To be honest, I am not entirely sure what I am looking it many times (until I find a nest - the German yellow jackets nest underground; the paper wasps - above ground).
    The wasps are harmless to the bees.
    The "Jackets" could be harmful - to already failing/robbed/sick/weak colonies - usually just scavenging the crumbs, after the fact.
    Reply: I suppose that urban and suburban people wouldn't know the difference. Country folks should. Paper wasps kind of flit around, have small nests above ground, often under eaves, and don't make large nests. They also have wasp waists..which means very narrow.

    German yellowjackets (vulgaris) have much thicker bodies, nest underground, and can develop into huge colonies. Their sting is also much worse than that of the paper wasps. I burn yellowjacket nests, whereas I merely use a stick to remove paper wasps. Neither are native where I live.

    Why am I not out in the bees? I guess because it appears that rain is imminent.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 07-20-2019 at 01:53 PM.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I looked up the species. It is a variant of a red paper wasp. Body color is more of a yellowish to yellowish orange with dark wings. They are supposedly good predators of caterpillars. I could use help with tomato hornworms so these wasps are welcome.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  14. #13
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    May 2014
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    Sedgwick Co. KS
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I confess......I'm a wasp killer. Yellow, black, striped, red, or any color...if they invade my space, they're dead. Mud daubers are the only exception.

  15. #14

    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I don't know about where you guys live. But where I am in the PNW area our Yellowjackets can completely whipe out honeybee colonies. They build paper nests often in the overhangs of roofs and places like that.
    I hate them and try and kill as many as possible

  16. #15
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I definitely do not want yellow jacket nests nearby, so I trap or swat queens (out of hibernation) in early spring, and that is all I do for wasp control. In summer, some yellow jacket workers visit my backyard hives, picking up dead/dying bees but so far they have not caused serious problems. I may just have been lucky.
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, near the north end of Lake Washington

  17. #16

    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I did that this spring, not sure how effective it was so far but they're not out of control yet �� what's your trapping method? I use a "catchy" wasp trap

  18. #17
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    I have a spray bottle of dawn and water labeled wasp spray, I don't worry about hunting down every local paper wasp nest, but those too near my door or my hives get a midnight visit and a couple of squirts. Remove nest the next day.

    Underground yellow jackets get a bucket of soapy water
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by jeetS View Post
    I don't know about where you guys live. But where I am in the PNW area our Yellowjackets can completely whipe out honeybee colonies. They build paper nests often in the overhangs of roofs and places like that.
    I hate them and try and kill as many as possible
    As just stated above - yellow jackets do not build paper nests under the overhangs of roofs and places like that.
    So you hate yellow jackets and yet you kill paper wasps.
    Here you go - a case in point.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Quote Originally Posted by jeetS View Post
    I did that this spring, not sure how effective it was so far but they're not out of control yet �� what's your trapping method? I use a "catchy" wasp trap
    I set up ‘RESCUE’ (https://www.amazon.com/RESCUE-Non-To...BKI/ref=sr_1_4), after I see the first queen, usually in mid March. The attractant will last for 2 weeks (you can buy refill). But last year I swatted more queens than it trapped, so this year I only did swatting. After reading GregV's posts, however, I'm not certain whether I swatted yellow jackets or paper wasps. Next spring, I'll pay more attention to what I'm dealing with.
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, near the north end of Lake Washington

  21. #20
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: An interesting story about wasps

    Paper wasps don't predate bees... they do like coming in for nectar if you're looking at frames though.

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