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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They were getting into my mini colony which only has a 100 bees or so. I closed the entrance just enough for 1 bee at a time to go in or out. Looks like they can take care of themselves.

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yellow jackets have no qualms about killing a hive. I usually don't see hornets robbing too bad, usually they swoop down and make off with a bee. I'm glad that you were able to help them defend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yellow jackets have no qualms about killing a hive. I usually don't see hornets robbing too bad, usually they swoop down and make off with a bee. I'm glad that you were able to help them defend.
I closed off the entrance just enough for 1 bee to go in or out at a time. This is a mini swarm colony of about 100 bees I caught a little over a month ago. I have been pumping 1:1 sugar mixed with pollen substitute, and a splash of Brood Booster to try and plus them up before cool weather sets in. Seems like they can handle intruders ok .
 

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Yellow Jackets and wasps can be hard on my colonies.
I start trapping them in the spring. I use funnel traps with apple juice in them. I have at least 2 traps at each bee yard.
Start trapping them early in the year. Yellow Jacket queens, and wasp queens are the only ones that make it through winter. You can't eliminate them but at least you can slow their population down.
 

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Surprised you dont end up with alot of honeybees with the apple juice?
I get some honey bees, but the amount is negligible. I've put some apple cider vinegar in with it also, didn't seem to make a difference. I'd rather loose a few lazy foragers, than loose a whole colony to Yellow Jackets in the fall.
 

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Surprised you dont end up with alot of honeybees with the apple juice?
I get some honey bees, but the amount is negligible. I've put some apple cider vinegar in with it also, didn't seem to make a difference. I'd rather loose a few lazy foragers, than loose a whole colony to Yellow Jackets in the fall.
Please elaborate on how you can lose a full colony of honeybees to yellowjackets.

Never seen it happen, only one beekeeper in these parts left his entrances open all season and lost some.
 

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Please elaborate on how you can lose a full colony of honeybees to yellowjackets.

Never seen it happen, only one beekeeper in these parts left his entrances open all season and lost some.
+1.
I've had yellow jackets finish off a colony that was robbed out by other honey bees, but I've never had a colony succumb to yellow jackets alone.
No doubt yj are annoying and stressing bees out but imo they're not the cause for a colony demise.
 

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For me, where yellow jackets are, hornets follow. I have a video, but I don't know how to upload it, where the yellow jackets started the fight and the hornets soon showed up and joined in.

I have robbing screens on my hives from spring to fall and never take them off. Two of my hives were robbed out last fall and by the time I got the screens on it was a battle to end it. I put the screens so I don't have to be quite as vigilant in the fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For me, where yellow jackets are, hornets follow. I have a video, but I don't know how to upload it, where the yellow jackets started the fight and the hornets soon showed up and joined in.

I have robbing screens on my hives from spring to fall and never take them off. Two of my hives were robbed out last fall and by the time I got the screens on it was a battle to end it. I put the screens so I don't have to be quite as vigilant in the fall.
Which robbing screens do you use?
 

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I run deep hives that have holes for the bee entrance so I made my own. They have a screen frame inside an outer frame which is held in with window screen clips. This is so I can take out the screen and plug the holes to increase or decrease the entrance space depending on the weather and time of year.
65274


The upper entrance can be decreased with a chunk of wood to slide over the hole.

I think they are overbuilt as I just made one from an old wooden picture frame. I cut a space out of the frame at the top and then covered the frame with screen and it works just fine.
 

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Please elaborate on how you can lose a full colony of honeybees to yellowjackets.
I haven't lost a 10 frame double deep, but have lost a 4 frame double deep, and a mini mating nuc.
I always reduce my entrances after honey harvest, and the weather has cooled off enough.
The yellow jackets come in and start picking off the guard bees, when the guards are all gone they have free reign. Then comes the wasps and honey bees from other colonies.
 

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I've had yellow jackets finish off a colony that was robbed out by other honey bees, but I've never had a colony succumb to yellow jackets alone.
+2
I agree, however I have read about people having issues with them in the fall. I would think it has much to do with colony strength, and perhaps location, same as any other pest. That said, I’ve watched my girls knock yellow jackets out of the air before they can reach the landing board. No true hornet’s in TX, thankfully, so can’t really speak on that.
 

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Please elaborate on how you can lose a full colony of honeybees to yellowjackets.

Never seen it happen, only one beekeeper in these parts left his entrances open all season and lost some.
Lost several hives last fall. I made it a bad situation by having lots of waste from fruit in my compost heap which attracted hundreds of them. They then proceeded to go after one colony after another, starting with a very weak colony but later including some strong ones. Closing entrances down to one-bee-wide did little to help. YJs fly much earlier in the morning than honey bees, and the entrance guards are cold and slow while YJs are very active. As soon as nighttime temps drop to the 50s the YJs have a huge advantage and they eliminate the guard bees very quickly. Once that is done the colony is done for.

I am starting to see the same pattern this summer. So far the bees are defending well, and I have traps out and am preventing the compost heap from attracting so many.
 

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I’ve lost entire colonies to yj’s, I’ve filled a shop-vac with them. I’ve filled 5 gallon buckets emptying out the yellow rescue brand traps. Where my yards are there is very little cultivated or habitated land and miles and miles of wild mountains. Just another example of how everything is local, just because I don’t have fire ants doesn’t mean they aren’t a problem, and while most don’t have to worry about yellow jackets some definitely do.
 

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You guys may want to look into those hive maze entrances, is supposed to work well at keeping other predators like yellowjackets out since they cant navigate the maze as well as the honeybees & gives guards a better chance of defending
 

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You guys may want to look into those hive maze entrances, is supposed to work well at keeping other predators like yellowjackets out since they cant navigate the maze as well as the honeybees & gives guards a better chance of defending
Even a simple chimney entrance seems to help.
In my traps honey seems to work best as a bait. And it catches very few honeybees.
 
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