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Last year I had a yellow jacket problem late in the year. I blame them for the eventual death of that particular hive, but I recognize it may not have played a part at all. My question is, can yellow jackets get through a queen excluder? If not, I could put the queen excluder under the brood chamber when I notice yellow jackets coming and going.
 

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I don't know what all you tried, but I had luck with just reducing the entrance until it was crowded. The bees take care of themselves unless the yellow jackets come for war or something. I also had to add a second screen to the botton, the yellow jackets were stinging bees through the single screen.
 

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Try making yellow jacket traps with empty 2 L soda bottles. Or buy one at Lowes with pheromones.

Put the traps out now and you will catch the yellow jacket queens as they come out of hibernation. There's only a short window as the queen gathers food for her first brood cycle, after that the worker will be foraging.
 

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I've never had luck with the 2L soda bottle traps. See lots of flies, and a few bees in them, but rarely a wasp.

We put a few commercial wasp traps out this spring. So far, they have caught a bunch of flies, and a few mason bees, no wasps.

Day before yesterday I saw wasp queens out and about on the little bushes in front of the house, lots of them. Got the spray bomb out, and by the time I was done, 34 wasp queens dead. Yesterday when I went out on wasp patrol again, only saw one, and it joined the rest, dead on the ground.

Hoping I have made a big dent in the local wasp population, but not hoping to hard.
 

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I think they can get through them. I'm a little south of you, and had a yellow jacket problem last year, too. Last season I opened one of my hives up and was surprised to find a yellow jacket running around in the top super. This happened twice. The only way she could have gotten in there was through the (severely reduced) lower entrance and up through the excluder. There was no gap big enough for her to get in from the top.
 

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MB is right on about the queen excluder, you will have a real mess. Your best approach would be to restrict the entrance so the bees are better able to guard it. We have terrible problems here with late fall yellow jackets. Restricting the entrance has been the best method to help the bees defend the colony. I choke my entrance down to about 1". It does create traffic jams at times, but it's very difficult for YJ's to get through.
 

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I've never had luck with the 2L soda bottle traps. See lots of flies, and a few bees in them, but rarely a wasp.

We put a few commercial wasp traps out this spring. So far, they have caught a bunch of flies, and a few mason bees, no wasps.

Day before yesterday I saw wasp queens out and about on the little bushes in front of the house, lots of them. Got the spray bomb out, and by the time I was done, 34 wasp queens dead. Yesterday when I went out on wasp patrol again, only saw one, and it joined the rest, dead on the ground.

Hoping I have made a big dent in the local wasp population, but not hoping to hard.
How does one identify a wasp as a Queen wasp?
 
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