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I was stung for the first time in the face yesterday. This hive has been very calm and pleasant and I regularly have been able to work it with no glove, veil, or even smoke. Yesterday was a very different story. This morning I think I have found the reason. I found 4 dead wasps and about 2 dozen dead bees on the landing board and in front of the hive. A real battle must have been raging inside the hive yesterday. Can anyone tell me if this is just something that occurs from time to time, or if it is something I can prevent. Here is a pic of the culprit: https://plus.google.com/photos/101812528037610007935/albums/5706467908256811105

What kind of wasp? What can I do about them?
 

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Set up wasp traps. Take a 2 liter pop bottle and cut the top off just below the neck. Tip the top upside down and place into bottle so that it's essentially a funnel pointing into the bottle. Fill with whatever you believe is the best recipe. DO NOT USE HONEY! I have heard that sugar and vinegar works. The earlier the better!

Also have you done simple things such as reducing the entrance? Feeding close to the entrance can also cause issues.

Couldn't tell you what kind of wasp it is.
 

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My entrance probably needs to be closed down some more, I had opened it during the warm days because they were moving so much pollen. I never use entrance feeders. I have been afraid of using traps because of a bad experience with Japanese beetles and my garden. It caught plenty of beetles, in fact, it filled the sacks quickly, but it also seemed to draw more to my garden.
 

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The wasp in the picture is a paper wasp in the genus Polistes (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). These are social wasps (not eusocial), and they tend to build relatively small nests, up to a few dozen females sharing a paper-combed nest. They are not likely to be real threats to honeybees, although a paper wasp may occasionally prey up a honeybee or two. Their primary prey species are soft-bodied insects, such as caterpillars and other larvae.

If a few set up a nest on one of my hives, I would eliminate that nest (but I would also try to figure out what was causing that hive to be so weak as to allow such a thing to happen). Otherwise, I recommend doing nothing about these wasps. They're normal, most species found in North America in this genus are native, and they can generally be considered "beneficial." Even around bee hives, I would not regard them as any serious threat to bees.
 

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Google wasp traps for the best bait. I've heard bacon, hamburger, etc. You probably don't have to put the wasp traps among the hives, but nearby, just to trap and dispose of the predators. Good luck!
Regards,
Steven
 

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I would not regard them as any serious threat to bees.
I feel the same. We have all kinds of wasps and they don't seem to hurt the bees. It is fun to watch the bees kick a bumble bee's butt.
 
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