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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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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