Pests - Wasps

You can get the jump on wasps by putting out a wasp trap in late April to end of May. Wasp produce a number of new queens in August. The old wasp queen and wasps in the hive freeze/die out in late fall. The new queens winter under grass in fence line and leaves, and in holes in ground. They come out in early spring and do everything (building the paper nest, laying eggs, foraging, and feeding larvae).

It is very important to trap these new queens before they start laying eggs and start producing their new batch of wasps. Trapping queen wasps in the spring reduces the number of wasp nest and wasps in late summer and fall.

I use apple juice in my wasp traps because bees don't seem to be attracted to the apple juice. I have found that there is next to zero bee deaths in the wasp traps.

The queen wasps are attracted to the baited wasp traps as a source of food for larvae. I recommend the beehive shaped trap, which is sold at most hardware stores. They also work well in the fall. However, they can't hold a lot of dead wasps, so need to be emptyied often.

Recipe: Use apple juice, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a tsp of white sugar, and a couple of drops of dish soap. Dish soap is very important as it interferes with surface tension of the liquid. Wasps can't walk on the apple juice mixture without the surface tension and they drown.

I have never had wasps wipe out a strong hive. When I see them bothering the hives later in the year, I reduce the entrance down to an inch so bee can readily defend the entrance. Also put wasp traps out starting in late summer, to keep the number of wasps down.

Taking Care of Beesness

Bees First!