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Author Topic: To Kill A Yellow Jacket  (Read 487 times)

Offline sawdstmakr

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To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:37:21 pm »
I have had more problems with Yellow Jackets this year than I have ever had. They are in my garage, breezeway, front porch, barn and all around my hives.
When we are sitting in the breezeway or on the porch, I am constantly killing them by smacking them between my hands. When I?m welding they are attracted to the arc and I usually have one or 2 dead ones on the work piece when I stop welding.
I have a Dynatrap on the back wall. I opened it last weekend and there were a bunch of them in there. Some were still alive. I took it down today and here is what is in it:

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This is the Dynatrap:

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I saw a bunch of them around my hives so I pulled out a shop vac and sucked up almost every one that was bothering the hives. Here is what I caught. Note: I sprayed flying bug spray in the vac before I turned it off.

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I do not know how many there are in each photo but I hope I put a dent in there numbers. If someone decides to count them, let me know the results. Hopefully with fewer of them, maybe tonight?s freeze will kill the nest.
Jim
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 07:50:25 pm by sawdstmakr »
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2018, 04:30:39 pm »
Here is today?s catch of Yellow Jackets. I think there are more today than yesterday.

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I was hoping there would bee less today.
They killed one hive. I have to take it apart now.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline kathyp

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2018, 07:30:59 pm »
It's been a constant problem for me to the point that I have had no hives for two years.  They finally killed them all and I had some other stuff come up, so I let it go for a bit. 

I have tried everything.  IDK what to do about them, but it's pretty discouraging to have otherwise healthy and very strong hives taken out this way. 
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
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Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2018, 07:37:59 pm »
It was a terrible season here for YJ's as well.  What I ended up doing for the small hives and nucs was reducing the entrances to 2 bees and installing permanent robbing screens on all of them. Did not lose any but they were 1/2 the size I had hoped for by the end of the fall. They did not build much as they were getting picked off and eaten as fast or faster than they could raise new bees. The screens kept the wasps out of the nest but they could still pick off a lot of the foragers.

I also used large plastic tubs with lids and cones as wasp traps in the bee yards. Worked great to cut down the massive amount of wasps.

Some are of the opinion that if the hive is strong enough it will fend off the wasps. I disagree. If the wasp are hungry enough and determined, the hive is going down no matter how big it is.
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Offline kathyp

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2018, 12:14:24 pm »
Quote
Some are of the opinion that if the hive is strong enough it will fend off the wasps. I disagree. If the wasp are hungry enough and determined, the hive is going down no matter how big it is.

this has been my experience and I have found some hives that were under massive attack to have gone queenless.  I believe the queen becomes the target and once they have gotten to her, it's all over.
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2018, 03:06:22 pm »
I have lost 6 more hives since last week. My bee Inspecter came and said he had to inspect 10 hives. There were Yellow Jackets around every hive. He sat there looking at them for quite a while. I asked if we could inspect a hive that the day before had nothing but YJs coming and going. I figured it was dead. There were no bees, just YJs. Still had lots of honey. The inspector decided not to inspect any other hive since it would cause more robbing. I have been vacuuming up YJs in the Apiary and in my barn, where I have the comb out to bee robbed. I was removing over a hundred YJs a day per location. It is starting to dwindle. I also have traps out but they catch many 5 to 10. The Dynotrap has at least 30 of them again.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 03:33:40 am »
That really sucks, sorry to hear of your losses.

The tub trap that I made was inspired by this BYB video set.  The ones I put out in the bee yards are 3x bigger.  It works well.  Over the late summer/fall I dumped out tens of pounds (10000's) of trapped and dead yellow jackets.  Other smaller traps were set out around the house backyard to keep the YJ's off the deck and away from the couple of hives by there.  Those were of the 2 liter pop bottle type.

Perhaps give either or both of those trap types a try.  They work.  Let us know if you achieve better success with this type.





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« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 04:03:25 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline kathyp

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 05:11:09 pm »
That's a good video.  I have had some luck with the bottle traps, but not enough to make a difference.  I tried the commercial traps and the bags work the best, but get spendy when filling them every day.  I have tried meat, cat food, bacon and bacon grease, and they seem to get wise to it all.  Maybe I have mutant thinking YJs   :cheesy:

They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 07:37:22 pm »
I will be making one of those traps tomorrow and get it set. Did he just put some lunch meat and water in it?  I was thinking of adding a little bit of soap to help drown them. Does that help?
Jim
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Online TheHoneyPump

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To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 05:37:23 am »
Soap is supposed to help them drown.  My experience is soap deters them, keeps them out of it.

I do not know if there is any bait that works best.  All kinds of concoctions get used.  Here is my bait mix that has worked well.
- sugar water 1:1, 16 oz or soda such as cola or sprite/7up diluted 50:50 with water. 
- apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp
- bread yeast, 1/8 tsp
- few cubes or fillet of raw fish or basic cheapest nastiest hot dog, 1 to 2 oz
Mix enough volume to have 1-1/2 inch in bottom of the trap.  The fish, suspend with line so the bottom of the fish just barely touches the liquid. Do not want the fish in the liquid.  Fish works better than hot dog.  Hot dog works better than anything else.

The smell of sugar draws them to the trap. The smell of protein (yeast and the fish especially) commits them into it.  The smell of the cider (vinegar) repels the bees.

It is a slow start at first to get a few in.  Once they are in the trap and start off gassing themselves, it becomes a YJ magnet.  Like their dead bodies draws more in quicker.  Do not empty the trap until you notice they are not going in anymore, it is full, or they are not getting wet not enough liquid depth left. When you clean the trap and recharge put a handful of the freshest dead back in to spike it.

When building the tub trap, if the tub size selected is large enough it works better with two funnels in the lid.  More smell eminates up out of more funnels and as a result increases the trapping rate.

Hope that helps!
Let us know how it works out for you.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 03:21:08 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 06:37:39 am »
Thanks THP. I will use some of the existing trapped YJs to speed it up.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline CoolBees

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2018, 02:27:57 pm »
Hello all - I joined Beemaster (finally) on the day this post came out, so that I could offer some hopefully helpful information on this topic.

I know this post is aging - but that's how long it took to get my account approved here. Sorry about that.

I accidentally found a wonderful solution to the YJ problem some years ago while camping. The YJ's were really bad there.

I left a 1 gallon (plastic) container of Apple Juice open with about 1/2" of juice in the bottom - and dropped 1 piece of lunch meat into it. The YJ's went nuts and mobbed it.

Every 20 mins or so, I'd go over and gently place the lid on and then shake the bottle till the meat was back on top of the pile. Then I'd set it down and open it back up. I never got stung. By the end of that day - the 1 Gallon jug was completely FULL of YJ's. So I tossed the whole thing in the fire (probably not environmentally friendly - I know). We never has Yellow Jackets on the rest of that trip.

The Apple Juice seems to suffocate them - they all die in the bottle every time I shake it.

I've used this several times since and it's always worked - for me.

Also, the YJ's have been really bad here in Norcal this year also.

FWIW.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2018, 05:48:00 pm »
Thanks, if I have to reset the trap, I will try the apple juice. Just hope it does not attract the honey bees.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 05:59:12 pm »
Here are 2 pictures of the trap I made. I went fishing in my pond and caught the fish. Problem is it is very fresh and with the cool temperatures, it will take a while to rot. I added the YJs from 2 of the traps that I had out.

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I used a hot glue gun to attach the bottle to the top. You have to bee careful not to let the bottle plastic get too hot or it shrinks which causes problems attaching it.
The bottom already had air holes in it. I may have to change it with a sealed one or add tape.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 02:02:19 am »
Nice setup Jim.  Well done. 
2 suggestions.
- Tape up the holes in the side and drill a bunch of 1/8" or smaller holes in the lid. Random near and around the bottle cone.  This so the smell comes out the top near the entrances.  Else you likely will have YJs beating themselves against the sides and not actually finding the top.
- That lid is large enough to add a second bottle cone.  2 cones, twice the trapping rate ;)

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2018, 07:06:14 am »
Thanks THP. I will tape it up. I initially planned on putting 2-2 liter bottles in the top. We don?t drink soda and I could not find any. I ended up using an orange juice bottle. I think they work better because they are square and this top has reinforced ribs that are almost the perfect size for the bottle to fit between.
Jim
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Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2019, 01:07:15 am »
How well (or not) did the traps work for you?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2019, 06:45:09 am »
How well (or not) did the traps work for you?
Not really sure. There were YJ in it, never saw any buzzing around it but by that time I had very few YJs left. I would only see one YJ here and there. I will be cleaning it out soon and reset it next year as soon as I see them again. I?m hoping that there were not enough left to feed the next generation and maybe they will not survive the winter.
Jim
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Online TheHoneyPump

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To Kill A Yellow Jacket
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2019, 07:28:54 pm »
Only the queen(s) survive the winter period.  All others die off when food gets scarce and a frost wipes them out.  Just like bumble bees.  In the spring the queens come out and restart the nest, all by herself.  She lays a few eggs and cares for them, just herself, in between foraging.  Those emerge and become workers/nurse.  The queen then focuses on laying.  The size of the nest compounds, exponentially with each brood cycle.  Just like bees other than only the queen winters.  It is this reason why they are such a problem and so prolific later in the season as that is when their population in the nests explode.

If you can figure out how to lure and capture the queens in the spring, the YJ problem is controlled and averted before it occurs.


A sideline, and change in topic that probably belongs somewhere else.  Linked here only on the similarities of only the queen being wintered ... On the topic of bumble bees, if folks have some downtime you may find this very interesting and entertaining.






After you watched that and are ready for some comedy, watch this lol hahhaa.  Great effort dfishman, atto-boy to stick with it and get through to help them. Well done!  Wheeeweee! B-Bees in crocks and shorts?!




« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 01:06:39 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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