Wasps that are not yellowjackets

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by patricium, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. patricium

    patricium New Member

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    Absolute pre-bee beginner here. I plan to get a couple of beehives in the spring, so am doing all the learning I can now. We live in a rural area, and have a lot of wasps around our house. They are not yellowjackets, but are mostly paper wasps, with a few black-faced wasps. I've been looking to see what sort of problems we might expect with robbing or attacking of the hives, and mostly people talk about yellowjackets. For the purposes of beekeeping, are all wasps equivalent, or are yellowjackets more aggressive? Should I start working on population control now, before we get the hives?

    Thanks for any thoughts you might have!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Welcome to the forum, and the world of beekeeping. Wasps are no problem with bees, unless they build a nest on the bottom of the hive and sting you when you get near. Or something similar. :D

    They won't hurt the bees. Yellow Jackets may get a couple of bees a year, but are not enough to worry about. There are many more damaging things to take up your attention in beekeeping than wasps or yellow jackets.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B Active Member

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    Patricium,

    I live in the bug capital of the universe...when I moved here from NYS I was told that "Texas has every kind of bug ever made". I'd be hard pressed to argue. :D

    We have yellow jackets all over the place. They seem to build nests in the barn and shed as quickly as we can remove them. Still, no problem with our bees.

    Walt
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Yellow jackets are aggressive and will sure enough come after you.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the terms yellow jackets and wasp can vary greatly by location and is therefore not totally descriptive.

    there are places in the US of A where (what the locals describe as yellow jackets) can be a large problem. as far as I can recall most of the reports I have seen of beekeeper reporting problems with yellow jackets are in the extreme western portions of the country.
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    My yard is haven to stinging insects of all sorts. None have been a serious problem with the bees.

    Yellow jackets tend to nest in holes in the ground or (recently) in holes in my eaves. Problem to me, but not the bees.

    Paper wasps, other wasps that look like yellow jackets but aren't as aggressive, and various and sundry hornets will raid the hummingbird feeders, which may annoy the bees when they, too, are raiding the hummingbird feeders.

    Carpenter bees, bumble bees, and the like seem to live in harmony with honeybees.

    The only small issue I has was with European hornets. However, I was encouraged when I witnessed a hornet trying to enter a hive, and it was struck broadside by a honeyvbee in flight, knocking it off the hive. I could see the honeybee repeatedly stinging the hornet as it tried to fly away.
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    To me, yellow-jackets and other wasps are totally nonequivilant. Wasps serve a purpose, whereas yellowjackets are nothing but a pest and people will blame your bees for what yellow-jackets do.

    I kill yellow-jackets with a vengance, but will leave all others alone.
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Hello,
    There is as you have read a vast real difference between true yellowjackets, and paper wasps, that sorta resemble the color patterns, but treally if you choose to look carefully, you can see the diffrences. Papaer wasps are rather skinny, and built exposed paper combs that are used only for brood and in truth they are certianly unser achievers by hornet and yellowjacks, standards seldom exceeding 30 adult wasps at any given times. They are insect predators, and will on rare occasions indulge on honeybees which are chewed up and fecd to the brood. Yellowjackets are a far different thin, being rather stout, and stocky in over body build, are very nervious, and readily defend thier colonnies, which towards fall may number around 10,0000, this would represent a giant colony but not the supertsized colonies discussed in another forum, where several queens teamed up and created a super colony with over 50,000 individuals inside. Yellowjackets will take honeybees, but a strong colony of honeybees will never notice the losses in the field. Only a weak colony, with yellowjackets actually invading the colony itself are a true threat. yellowjackets inside a colony of honeybees will destroy the colony this seldom happens but can if is truely a weak colony or a after swarm that hasn't had enough time to raise replacement workers yet. Hornets, usually referring to bald faced hornets, are white faced, with black base colors on thorax, and abdomen, with white markings, they nest mostly in trees, bushes, or under eaves of houses thier nests can be rather large about the size of a basketball, and perhaps 5 - 6000 individuals at thier peak--they too will take the stray honeybee, but aren't inclined to even try to invade a coloney of bees. ) They will try to chew off strips of wood on unpainted surfaces to make paper out of though, makes a funny striped effect.
    Barry
     
  9. waski2

    waski2 New Member

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    yellow jackets are downright nasty. Be very carefull when approaching a nest they will attack. I have had several yellow jackets attack my hive, and have actually watched a bee battle a yellow jacket one on one.
    I have purchased a few wasp traps called Rescue. They work very well. As the wasp nest is in my neighbours attic
    I placed the traps between our yards, and since then have had no problems. I only have to empty the dead wasps from time to time.

    cheers
     
  10. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    I absolutely hate yellow jackets, but the only time they posed a threat to my hives was when my hives were first weakened by an onslaught of bald-faced hornets! Those rather large wasp-like critters that are black and white striped with a white face. They're the ones that build those nests like you see in Winnie the Pooh pictures. . .big paper constructs, the size of a volley ball. Anyway, when I was a "newbee" I had them attack my hives. Finally had the sense to put #6 hardware cloth on the entrances. . .the bees could come and go, but the hornets were too big. But by then, the hives were so weakened that the yellowjackets, which are small, were able to go into the hives and help themselves! That was when I learned about robber screens. But it was too late. The wax moths moved in! Lost two hives that year. It'll never happen again (I know. . .never say never).

    Looked in the woods for the hives so I could destroy them but never found them. Found out later that they were living in the four chimneys of the abandoned house next door!
     
  11. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Today I saw what looked like a skinny very long yellow jacket making repeated attempts at getting in my hive. It was greeted at the entrance by several bees but they couldn't deter it's repeated atempts. This hive had just swarmed a few days ago so their numbers are down. I reduced the entrance by half until they re-populate and gave them a "hand" with the wasp/yellow jacket.