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Author Topic: Hive placement/yellow jackets  (Read 627 times)

Offline phill

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Hive placement/yellow jackets
« on: February 27, 2024, 04:32:04 pm »
Looking for advice. I want to put a new hive in a new place on my property, close to my neighbor's land. I talked to the neighbor, and she's fine with the idea, but warned she's had very bad problems with yellowjackets. Should that worry me? Should I put the hive somewhere else?

My existing hives are about 80' away from the spot that I have in mind. I've seen yellowjackets there, but they've never been a major problem.

Another factor: There's a big pile of wood chips very close to the spot I want. Would that be a likely nesting place for yellowjackets?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2024, 05:23:42 pm »
Yellow jackets can forage as far as a mile from their nest, but they usually stay within about a 1/4 mi. if they don't need to travel farther.  This means that in all likelihood, her yellow jackets are already your yellow jackets, so if you don't have a problem now, I doubt anything will change.  I also wouldn't worry about the wood pile necessarily.  They could nest there, but I don't know that there is any particular reason they would choose the wood pile over another location.  But watch them go and nest there, now that I said that!  :grin:
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2024, 06:26:16 pm »
Phill,
I recommend that you purchase a Dynatrap and place it on your house or garage somewhere where it is in site of your hives. Yellow Jackets are not normally a problem until the fall by then their numbers are very high and the food is scarce. If you have a Dynatrap from now until winter you will keep the Yellow Jackets numbers low. I have three of them around my house, originally to kill mosquitoes, which it does a good job of, but it is constantly trapping YJs. I suspect the reason is they are going to the smell of the insects in the trap and get caught. You will have to empty them at least once a month. When they are full they stop catching bugs. Just don?t do it in the morning because you will let the mosquitoes out that were caught the night before. By mid afternoon they die due to lack of water.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2024, 06:34:33 am »
>Another factor: There's a big pile of wood chips very close to the spot I want. Would that be a likely nesting place for yellowjackets?

If I hear buzzing in a wood pile or a pile of brush it's almost always bumble bees.  I wouldn't worry about yellowjackets unless you see a problem and then I'd put a trap out or track them back to their nest and wipe that out.
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Offline animal

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2024, 10:12:01 am »
This might horrify some, but I've always just tracked the yellow jackets until you find their hole. Then plug the hole(s) in the early morning before they're up with a coke bottle full of gasoline, and leave it for a day or two. Simple, cheap, targeted, and effective.
(coke bottles have more of a tapered neck than most bottles and fit in the hole better.)
If you can't get a vehicle out to a fire ant mound that is out in the open sun, it can be treated similarly but knock the mound flat, a small amount of gasoline, cover with a piece of roofing felt or a black garbage bag weighted down with a few bricks, and let the sun send the fumes through the tunnels. Some people pour gas on the mound and light it, but they're just pyros wasting gas , imo.
I prefer using an engine to pump exhaust fumes through the nest when possible, though.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2024, 11:29:47 am »
A quarter cup will do.  No need for an entire bottle.  Probably a tablespoon would do.
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2024, 11:39:36 am »
Fortunately, we don't have fire ants here but we probably have something else in trade. I pour a big pot of boiling water down a yellow jacket's nest at night and then I guess the skunks find them pretty quickly and dig them up.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2024, 11:41:26 am »
It depends on how bad the problem is AND that she knows what yellowjackets are.  People often confuse all stingy things.  Yellow jackets usually nest in the ground, under things like old tarps, wood, and at the root of plants like blackberries. 

The best way to reduce the problem is to get traps for the queens out early.  As soon as it warms at all, the queens will come out and look for a place to start a new nest.  Sometimes you'll see them fly around and you can squish them.  they are usually big and slow, so if they land, kill them.

As for worry about them, they can take down a hive. I have a guy who owns a construction company living next down the road.  Because of all the scrap and equipment he keeps, there are tons of places for yellow jackets.  I have lost hives to them.  They will go after the guard bees until they get the numbers down and then get into the hive and kill the queen.  If you only have a couple of nests around and your hives are strong, they can manage.  If there are tons of them and your hives are weak or new, you may have a problem.  I'd put my hives as far from them as you can if you have any land.  If you don't have land, where you put them won't matter.

The good thing is that they don't usually go hard after your hives until later in the season, so your hives have a chance to get good and strong before that.
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Offline Occam

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2024, 06:07:43 pm »
Not my favorite creatures. I was 11 out 12 playing with some friends and we found a hole with them. Safely got away with nobody getting any stings. Couple hours later my friends decide to mess with them while I tried from about 30 feet away to convince them it was a bad idea. I get stung 3 times for my efforts, my friends got none. No good deed goes unpunished as the saying goes lol
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Offline animal

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2024, 10:37:03 pm »
A quarter cup will do.  No need for an entire bottle.  Probably a tablespoon would do.

Cool, I'll reduce the dose. been doing a full bottle if the ground is dry, half or so if the ground is wet (the way my granddad did it) ... old 6 oz, refillable ones because you can give 'em a good stomp if you need to to get a good seal.
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Offline phill

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Re: Hive placement/yellow jackets
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2024, 06:20:51 am »
Thanks for those thoughts. I think I'll go ahead with the move.

BTW I've had yellowjackets near our house, and they didn't bother the hives. They did bother us, though. I was able to find their nest and eliminate it without using gasoline. Just pouring boiling water down the hole and then shoved in an upside-down wine bottle to trap the steam. It worked.