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This is my first year with a hive, learning a lot. For the past 3 weeks I have noticed the hive was a little more irritated than usual. Also was finding very low egg production. I do see the queen around and she looks healthy. Hive population has dropped some. Today I saw a lot of activity around the hive so I went in for a look. Bees seemed fine but agitated, still low egg numbers but some varying age larvae. As I finished putting the hive back together I had a lot of bees landing on me and following me away from the hive. When I finally took a good look at them I noticed they weren't my bees, they were yellow jackets, lots of them. I was very happy I was fully suited, they would have torn me up. I probably had 100 stuck to me. My hive is on a 3 foot platform and they built a nest attached to the underneath. I then was able to see they were attacking the hive. I happily torched the nest. Does anybody think the low egg production was caused by the stress of what im sure was daily attacks, or could they have been eating that many eggs? Or is it some other reason and im off way course? Thanks
 

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I have a neighbor whose 2 hives were robbed out last fall. The yellow jackets will fly at lower temps than the bees and attack when the bees are confined due to low temps. I know this is months away.
I saw many rumbles at the entrances to my hives last year. I put a yellow jacket trap about 15 ft in front of my 2 hives and caught many of the yellow jackets. Smacked many with a fly swatted too. If your population is down reduce your entrance to make it is easier to defend. You can also add a pollen patty which should help them feed the larvae. You want the late season bees to be well fed so they can raise really healthy winter bees to better survive the cold.
Trapping yellow jackets early in the season this year, They are all queens in the early season, has greatly reduced yellow jacket around my hives this year.
Fabian
 

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I use the big box store traps with the pheromone lures but I've seen videos on u-tube where you can make your own traps using soda bottles and fermented juice or wine.
here's a picture of mine. cant seem to post the picture directly
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HIQEif0T8P4/Um3RGYtaJzI/AAAAAAAAAjk/Qtqa2CuS8zg/s1600/P1060446.JPG[/IMG]

http://bigyields.blogspot.com/2013/10/late-season-hive.html
 
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