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How to deal with wasps in the apiary

I had the opportunity to visit this years' Apimondia Congress and it was a life time experience especially meeting so many bee keepers from all over the word exchanging ideas.

I also had an opportunity to have coffee with Charlotte and had some good discussions. It was a fantastic congress. Well done Turkey !

I would like to know if there is anyone who has any experience in dealing wasps and how to control them especially in Africa.

Thanks

Ernest

Commentaires

Yes I too had a great time in Istanbul at Apimondia. How wonderful that beekeeping and love of bees unites so many different people.

A UK-based company specialized in hive monitoring systems has been developing gear to deal with Asian Hornets - they may be able to help with wasps as well.

Dear Ernest,

See also this discussion for some ideas: http://teca.fao.org/search?search_api_views_fulltext=wasps

Let me share my experience of this year with wasps and hornets.  We are 3 beekeepers in a small apiary located in a park at the edge of the city (Rome, Italy). Together we have around 50 hives. We had a very dry summer with only 2 short rain spells in 4 months. There were plenty of wasps and especially hornets (European hornet).  At certain moments, there were 3 or 4 hornets around each hive. We tried the 1,5 liter plastic bottle trap and tested different types of bait (here we use: beer with little sugar or water-vinegar mixture with some sugar) but found also bees inside the bottles. Probably because it was so dry, with no nectar sources around, and the bees went for the liquid (and sugar?) in the bottles. A researcher visiting the apiary said not to worry about the hornets and wasps as they would never be able to eat all the bees. The key message was to keep colonies strong!

In fact, I found that wasps mainly eat dying or dead bees on the floor in front of the hives.  The guard bees will not allow the wasps near the landing board or hive entrance.  I have also seen bees winning a fight with a hornet that came too close to the landing board, but generally it was the other way around: the hornet flying away with a bee.  

The other day I read a testimony of a beekeeper keeping chicken around the hives. The chicken seem to be able to catch hornets (here Asian hornet) pretty easily, and apparently chicken love a good hornet meal! (You can read the article (in French) here: https://jardincomestible.fr/videos/poules-contre-frelons-asiatiques).

So a good way to go is probably to make sure the colonies are always strong with plenty of healthy bees, try to keep the number of wasps and hornets low at the beginning of the season by removing the nests if you can locate them, and use a variety of traps that work in your area to catch wasps and hornets.

Happy to read experiences and suggestions from other beekeepers too !

Charlotte