Sunday, September 6, 2009

Other Stingers

We have a compost pile, and the kids tossed some watermellon rinds on it. I want out and saw that there were some bugs which were loving the watermellon. I wasn't sure what they were (wasps?) so I asked BeeSource and everyone concluded that they were yellow jackets. These are some neat pictures!

I especially like the yellow and black face of the one in the last picture. You can see her eating watermellon - Cool!


  1. Cool pics, Steven. I have to admit though, I hate yellowjackets. They have a horrible disposition, they will sting anything that gets near their nest (I got in one once and got stung I think 6-8 times and they bite too). They will invade trash, get in sodas (countless people get stung every year when they crawl inside soda cans and then sting someone on the lip or tongue). They're worse in late summer when they look for sugar sources. Nonetheless, the pics are great. Hope all is well! Mark

  2. Hi Steven. Glad you didn't get stung photographing the yellowjackets. They are mean. A nest showed up right at the entrance to my garden over the weekend. I use a solution of Ivory Liquid and water to stray at nightfall when most of the bees are in the nest. A good organic way to get rid of them.

    Love the idea of using mesh when you applied the powdered sugar to your hives. That's on my to-do list for the week. My girls get "the shake" next weekend after I finish removing the sourwood honey.

    Glad I found your blog. It'll take me some time to catch up, but I'm already finding it interesting reading.

  3. I haven't had problems with these yellow jackets being mean. They were helping themselves to a super I took off (there was minimal nectar in it, and I wanted the bees to reclaim it). The yellow jackets enjoyed it too. I just picked it up, shook them off, and went around my business.

    Lynn - glad you like the blog. I figure if I am going to keep a record of what I am doing, I may do it in blog form so I can help others, as well as get good comments from everyone. I am a first year beekeeper, so don't take what I do as gospel! I also follow your blog (along with about 50 others).

  4. Yellow jackets are probably the insect that stings people the most--and then people blame it on bees saying they were 'stung by a bee'. Do be careful because they can be very testy, especially as the weather gets cooler - they don't hibernate but die. Also, unlike bees, their stinger is not barbed so they can sting multiple times.

  5. I suppose you haven't had any problems with wasps hanging around your hives, have you? I've noticed some hanging around the feeder on one of my hives. I even saw one attack a bee and kill it. I may switch to an in-hive feeder or remove the feeder altogether. Or maybe the bees can handle a few wasps hanging around. I'm not sure.

  6. @Phillip, no I have not. I use internal feeders (upended jars) and have seen just a wasp or 2 ever, but nothing too aggressive.

  7. I've been doing more research. Apparently Boardman feeders are great at attracting wasps and ants, both of which I've seen around at least one hive in larger numbers for the past week.

    I've switched to internal bag feeders for now, a Ziplock bag with a slit down the middle on top of the frames. I'll see if that keeps the wasps away.

    My hives are about two weeks old started from nuc boxes and otherwise doing well.



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