Why Should Beekeepers Trap Wasps In Spring?

To trap wasps in spring seems a strange thing to do. How many of these creatures have you seen in spring? As you get into the warmer months, queen-wasps are looking to set up home.

I am trying to prevent large squadrons of yellow-jackets attacking my hives, particularly the weakest colonies, and they always know which are the weakest colonies. The tried and tested answer is to narrow the entrance by one bee-space, but wasps are persistent buggers and this doesn’t always work.

Another piece of advice thrown my way is to place a clear material at the front of the hive. The idea is that those supposedly daft wasps will fly head-on into the translucent pane without realising the bees are making their way home through the side. The yellow-jackets eventually suss out that ploy, and once more I look in despair at the mustard-coloured invasion.

The first of August arrives and the wasps spring into action, along with the beekeeper who is caught out again! It’s the only day of the year when you see me with a four-pack of something cheap and nasty, filling jars with a hoppy, frothy concoction, which gives the apiary the whiff of an outdoor bar. I hastily fill the glasswear, yet I am always behind the curve, outwitted by an unrelenting foe.

Trap Queen-Wasp In Spring

It’s the queen-wasp that you want to take out. I use a custom-made trap, purchased from Freeman and Harding. It’s a large glass jar with a screw-on plastic entrance; a Hotel California for yellow-jackets. You really don’t need anything as fancy as this. A two litre cola bottle with the lid removed will suffice. Then, part fill it with dodgy-beer and a table spoon a sugar – job done! Consider using a funnel to save soaking the hive roof.

Remember, committing vespula reginacide in the spring makes life easy come lammastide.

I would love to know you thoughts, please leave a comment.

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