I am fairly new to beekeeping. last year I noticed that their were a lot of, what looked like, roaches and wasps hanging out in and around the hive. Are the bees capable of defending the hives or is there soemthing I need to do to get rid of the invaders?
There are ways to trap them. Do a search for wasps, traps, on this site, or google the same. I've not had any problem with wasps, so don't have any first-hand experience constructing the traps. But they somehow involve plastic soda bottles and raw meat.
These so called invaders are only taking advantage of a space you created by placing a honeybee hive in their territory. They do ho harm. You've never seen a Polistes wasp that lives under the outer cover eat a bee. Wolf spiders don't. Roaches and earwigs don't. Bees let them in the hive because they aren't a threat. Even big hairy Wood spiders don't.
Sure, I've seen a Yellow Garden spider wrap up a bee or two. The hive can afford it. I look forward to seeing the different spiders and insects in my apiaries. How dull it would be without that little yellow Goldenrod spider that changes from yellow to cream and pink.
It's not uncommon for me to see a hornet grab a bee on the landing board. They don't really have an impact on the overall colony. I freqently find small spiders and roaches on the inner cover.....even in the strongest hives. I've never seen any evidence that they do any harm. Bees will defend their nest proper from any 'real' pests. Just watch them go after a small hive beetle.
Hey, I want to thank all of you for your replies, as varied as they are. Of course there are no invaders right now. The situation occured when it was warmer. There wasn't a lot of them, but 10 or less of each of the wasps and what looked like roaches or water bugs(?). I have lost hives several years in a row, so now I am paranoid. So far this one seems to be doing ok, but since I am obviosuly an amateur, I needed to figure out whether to ignore the invaders or watch for problems that may arise because of them.
Wood roaches can get pretty common in or around hives in your neck of the woods. Like others have already pointed out, they do no harm to the bees. They may be indicators of some deterioration of your hives, though. Wood roaches will hide in almost any dark location, but really like rotting wood.
Wasps may occasionally take a bee or some honey. I'll include yellowjackets with wasps since yellowjackets are a type of wasp. Again, like others have already pointed out, they tend to cause no real harm to the hive or bees, and may really be an indication of a weak hive if you find them inside the hive and not just under the outer cover or around the hive.
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