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The wasps are terrible this year and are really harassing the hives. They are even going as far as attacking bees on the landing board, taking them to the ground, and ripping them up.

My open feeders have a similar story. They are both attacking the bees and drinking up the syrup. I have a small stick I keep at the feeder I use to smash dozens at a time, but it doesn't seem to be effecting the numbers. They just seem to pick up their fallen comrades and take them back to be fed to the colony...really gross creatures.

I've also put out a few traps. The pheromone traps don't seem to be working this time of year as they seem to be preferring sweets. I've tried jams with some success but also not enough to knock down the numbers. They also aren't getting caught with cat food, sausage, etc. I currently have some empty traps with apple juice in them, some with apple cider vinegar. Not much luck either.

Unless someone has a really good way to knock down the numbers, I feel I need to find the nest and take it out. However, with so many bees flying around I find it difficult to watch which way they are going after filling up with nectar/carcasses.

Any pro tips on finding a nest or knocking down the numbers? I'm on a bit of land in the mountains so I'm about to just walk a grid on the property, maybe even the neighbors?
 

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After you kill some of the wasp at the feeder try a couple of bee line tricks on them for a better visual.

Baby powder or carpenters chalk box chalk makes them a little easier to see, tie a long thread or Christmas wrapping ribbon on them, the thin crinkley kind.

Just a couple of crazy ideas.

Are these yellow jackets?
 

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Yeah, yellow jackets. I've never really known the difference between them an wasps, as I'm sure there is one. These also live in the ground.

Good idea to make them more visible. I'll have to dump some climbers chalk on them and see if that helps.

And I'm hoping they couldn't sting through my bee gloves if I'm to tie string to them. That did cross my mind, but ribbon is a good idea. I'm thinking only a couple inches would do it. Maybe even some fast set super glue gel to one of their legs? Assuming they would head straight back to the nest after doing so?
 

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I had really good luck this fall catching a lot of wasps by putting a handfull of (freshly) dead bees and some sugar in a liquid trap. The dead bees were scraped out of the bottom of a still active hive.

Edit: the liquid was completly filled with dead wasps in a week, and then I knocked down the trap and broke it :/

61180
 

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I was also able to get a lot of wasps/yellowjackets with a blowtorch. I put out a box of wet frames for the bees to clean, and then in the afternoon after the bees had cleaned the frames I went out with a blowtorch and got a lot of wasps/yellowjackets that were still hanging around the frames after the bees were done. I have not had any problems letting bees clean wet frames in the open, but other people have
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Interesting!

I don't have a supply of dead bees to use in a trap. Any dead bees knocked out of a hive immediately get taken by the enemy in question. Did the sugar water not attract more bees?

I do kill a lot in the evenings when the bees go home and the yellow jackets are still out - with my previously mentioned killing stick. I've been open feeding to keep down on robbing but just saw the first signs of our summer dearth coming to an end today. I might have to try the torch! It may be a faster way to knock them down. They usually get smart to my smashing by the time I can get to them all.
 

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Interesting!

I don't have a supply of dead bees to use in a trap. Any dead bees knocked out of a hive immediately get taken by the enemy in question. Did the sugar water not attract more bees?
The sugar did not seem to attract many bees, it was a weaker solution (maybe 10%), which may have helped. I had a hive that had some dead bees on the bottom board that I scraped out. I saw the wasps attacking some bees in front of the hives, so I decided to try putting some dead bees in a trap. The hive had dead bees on the bottom because It was a smaller nuc that I closed up and brought inside for a few days due to a snow storm and cold snap.
 

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I have heard that when researchers want to mark or number honey bees for a study,the stick them in a freezer for a few minutes.This could work for attaching thread or ribbon to your wasps.
Not sure how long it would take to immobilize them,you would have to experiment.You could also freeze a block of ice to use as a "workbench" if you are a slow knot tier.
Keep a bunch warm in a container overnight and release one at a time the next day.
 

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There are some excellent videos on youtube of yellow jacket traps.

More or less they cut a 3-liter coke bottle in half and flip the top over so it makes a funnel. They then fill it partly with water and put in some meat. The yellow jackets and wasp love it.

The best way I have found to find a yellow jacket nest is to just mow the yard. If they are there... you'll know it.
 
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