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I have a weak hive that I am feeding 2:1 sugar water to, in a top feeder. The problem is wasps (yellowjackets) are attracted by the sugar water and are entering the hive to get the sugar water. As it is a weaker hive, they aren't doing a very good job of guarding the entrance. I have the entrance reduced to the smallest setting. I have tried robbing screens and the wasps still figure out how to get in.

Has anyone tried adding something like lemongrass oil to the sugar water to deter wasps (or anything else)? I have tried putting lemongrass oil at the entrance and it does deter the wasps from entering but it has to be applied daily to be effective.

As a side note, I noticed the wasps will also go into all of the hives first thing in the morning while the bees are still clustering and don't have guards in place. I have wasp traps by the hives that help but don't completely solve the issue.
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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I'm afraid the wasps have marked this as a rob out. I use the BeeSmart robbing screens (Ebay) and have not had a problem since. If this were my problem I would try this robbing screen and alternate the entrance. There are two tabs on either side that can be opened. If that still failed you may have to move the hive or combine it. No additive that I'm aware of will deter them. Be sure your feeder is on top so they have to travel the length of the hive to access it.

Nothing worse then watching that happen. Sorry you're having to go through it.
 

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Read on Michael Bush's website how to deal with robbing, it is very informative. I had to resort to using Vicks Vaporub, which he suggests as an option. I put it on the robber screen where the hive bees exit, the smell keeps the robbers from discovering the alternate entrance. It worked for me, the robbers congregated on the robber screen at the real entrance because that is where the hive smell came from, and the hive bees came and went thru the alternate entrance. The vaporub lasts longer if you have a way to temporarily protect it from the elements, but since it is a sticky substance it did not disappear quickly. A board propped up against the hive worked for me.

I made my own robber screen with wood , I drilled a 1" hole for an exit and inserted a 3" piece of plastic pipe that I could plug and reduce the size if I needed to. The robbers had a hard time figuring out the pipe even if they got close. They seemed to get distracted with the smell from around the edge of the robber screen and never figured out to go up the pipe and in the top, I am assuming because 'up' smelled like Vicks, not the hive.

I am new to this beekeeping process so my success could be a fluke, but still, for me, it worked.
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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Since a rob out is marked by a pheromone scent it makes sense that Vicks Vaporub would work. That's fascinating. That combined with a robbing screen might just confuse them enough to end robbing. I'm going to remember that one. Of course everything preventing it from starting in the first place is the first line of defense- strong queen, good nutrition, dead mites.
 

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Before I added the 3" pipe and Vaporub some robbers found the alternate entrance. I think that I did not build the robber screen large enough and they crawled around until they discovered the new entrance. I don't know if robbers can remember the new entrance and if so, putting on Vicks still would not deter them so I added the plastic pipe as a precaution.

My mistakes started this robbing process. My lack of care when I started to feed 2:1 in the fall resulted in some sugar syrup leaking out around the bottom of the hive and seeping into the boards that the hive stands on. Lesson learned, prevent robbing in the first place.
 

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Might be too late for you but I had a lot of yellow jackets around and I feed inside the hives.

I did the 2 liter bottle Wasp trap. Inside I put small amount of water and 3 drops of dish-liquid, then a good couple Glugs of RED wine and 2 cut up slices of Bologna..... They LOVED it !

I am leaving mine out with a board over it so rain doesn't get it. That way they hang out there even when it is too chilly for the honey bees to fly
 

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Thank you, I was going to google yellow jacket traps this winter so I can be ready in the spring. I will try yours. I assume that it can be set up in the bee yard or should it be put farther away?
 

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Thank you, I was going to google yellow jacket traps this winter so I can be ready in the spring. I will try yours. I assume that it can be set up in the bee yard or should it be put farther away?
I would suggest not putting the trap IN the beeyard for fear of attracting yellow jackets to the hives.
I do not believe yellow jackets travel very far from their nests. So my thoughts are to place the traps a bit farther away .
 

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You can bribe them off your bees by putting some sort of drip or sugar water a 100' away from your hive.(much shorter if around a building, tree etc)

It is really just kicking the can down the road as this will ultimately feed more yellow jackets. First good freeze will kill the yellow jacket workers, they only winter a bunch of queens in the nest. The VaporRub is a new one on me, sounds like a great idea. Just kicking in another idea. You may be able to find the yellow jacket nest and eradicate them if you just watch them. They are much like honey bees and will take a direct route.

I watched Bruce at barnyard bees a while back on youtube. He put a little bit of sugar water in a rubbermaid with some sandwich meat, and cut a clear funnel and taped it inverted on the top. Hundreds of yellow jackets went down the hole and tried to fly out the edges.... just grabbed the link Yellow jacket trap - Barnyard Bees
 
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