Wasps in the Hives

So here’s a situation I’ve been watching all summer long. It started in spring with a wasp or two visiting the water source I had for the hives. I’d see them infrequently, and I wasn’t too worried about it.

Lately, however, the number of wasps has risen to the point that I sometimes just go out there with a fly swatter and kill wasp after wasp after wasp. I’m sure I look wonderfully stupid to anyone passing by who doesn’t realize what I’m doing. 🙂 Talk about tilting at windmills…. Taking on a full hive with a fly swatter would be an EPIC FAIL.

Anyway….

Last week, I put an emergency supply of sugar syrup on Hive 2 because I was worried about the quantity of their stores. I’ve been shocked to see the literal horde of wasps join in on that feast. More than once did I see a wasp fly directly into the hive! Both hives as well!

I’ve taken my responsibility to defend those hives more vigorously lately to be sure. Before church yesterday, I stood out there smashing wasp after wasp. I probably killed 20 in the five minutes I stood there. After church, I killed another 20 or so. I’m also concerned because there is a small, but growing, pile of dead bees in front of hive 2 (the weaker one).

Sigh….

So what did I do with a bit of my afternoon yesterday? I built my first Wasp Trap!

I took a quart jar, punched five small holes in the top big enough for the wasps to get through, and then filled the bottom with a slurry of sugar water, jam, and honey. I was worried that the bees would get at it, too, but I’ve been assured by numerous blogs, YouTube videos, and other sources that the bees will not.

I placed that outside first thing this morning (I’ll have to bring it in at night because it gets too cold). It’s supposed to be a bit cold today, so I’m not sure what results I’ll get, but it snowed yesterday, and the wasps were out by mid-afternoon, so….

I’ll take a picture or two if I get full jars of dead wasps. We’re supposed to warm up again this weekend, so I’m very hopeful. One of the blogs talked about how they had a wasp trap that they had to empty every hour or two for all the wasps coming in.

Oh… where is my evil-faced emoticon…. Hmm…. Just act like this one is evil-faced…. 🙂

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