What do hungry wasps do?

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Alastair

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Winter nearly upon us and food supply for wasp colonies is not what it used to be. So they hang around beehives looking for a meal, but as they run out of energy the bees find it easier and easier to exclude them from the hives.

So we have wasps with no energy left walking around near the hives cos they can no longer fly. Then we have other wasps also pretty desperate, spot the weak ones so chop them up and carry them off for a meal.

Cannibals eating their own flatmates :oops:

 

Alastair

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Very few wasps around this yr . Can count on two hands the wasps I have seen .
Its the same for rats and mice .

What's happening here is some of my sites they are almost completely absent, other places have been swarming with them to such an extent I probably would have lost hives had it not been for vespex.

I don't know why this is, but speculate that other beekeepers may have already controlled them in some places.
 
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I have killed about 6 nests on neighbouring properties, just over our boundary in the past couple of seasons. We still had them hanging around this summer, so I quizzed a neighbour, he then found 3 nests on his property which he killed. We are still getting the odd one or three hanging around.
 
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I have killed about 6 nests on neighbouring properties, just over our boundary in the past couple of seasons. We still had them hanging around this summer, so I quizzed a neighbour, he then found 3 nests on his property which he killed. We are still getting the odd one or three hanging around.
How do you hunt the nests down? Just follow wasps? I have an image of you leaping fences like a run away hurdler trying to locate them.
 
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Mummzie

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How do you hunt the nests down? Just follow wasps?
Tie some coloured thread on their back legs and follow them back to the nest.

but on a more serious note- observing flight paths in the evening as they return to the nest.
 

Alastair

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Thing is that in some parts including where I am, you can find and kill any number of nests and still put no noticeable dent in wasp numbers because within range of a bee yard there could be hundreds of nests.

At one of my bush sites a couple months ago i found 3 wasp nests within the actual apiary. All within 2 or 3 meters of at least one hive. Killed them, zero difference in the numbers of wasps harrasing the bees. With that kind of density I cannot imagine how many nests would be through the rest of the surrounding bush.
 
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How do you hunt the nests down? Just follow wasps? I have an image of you leaping fences like a run away hurdler trying to locate them.
We are in fairly open pasture land, just before sundown, one can see them(or the mrs in my case...has better eyesight!) heading back to their nests. As a dedicated hunter of them, I also have an idea where they may be! We have lots of old stumps around here, and they love getting underground via them.
 

NickWallingford

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I spent a totally wasted afternoon, trying to tie pieces of cotton thread onto wasps. When I finally got one, the wasp landed a few feet away, chewed off the thread and took to the skies, destination unknown... I had better results sprinkling the wasps with flour. Less painful for me, and it seemed to slow them so I could track them a bit better.
 
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What's happening here is some of my sites they are almost completely absent, other places have been swarming with them to such an extent I probably would have lost hives had it not been for vespex.

I don't know why this is, but speculate that other beekeepers may have already controlled them in some places.
mind you weather and nest locations makes a big difference.
depends where they got wintering queens to be successful.
i found a big fat queen wasp in the ceiling space the other day. thats one less for next season.
 
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Alastair

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In my view, the only thing that limits them is food supply. In spring when the queens come out of hibernation you can see heaps of them flying around, they cannot possibly all create a successful nest. Which we also know because each surving nest can create hundreds or in some cases thousands of queens, and if they all created nests we would be feet deep in wasps.

My own thoughts are that these queen wasps create nests, but competition for food means that only so many survive. As many as the food resources of the land will bear. Or, many of them may survive, but do poorly.

I do recall in Leeston, we had a site being bothered by wasps. It was a simple matter to track them back to the nest and kill it, end of problem. But that was Leeston, not a place where there are a heckuva lot of wasps. What I think happens in places where they are dense, is they cover everything and pretty much strip all food resources. Like, I can remember a place where there were so many wasps that we couldn't eat our lunch outside for fear of getting a wasp in the mouth. Had to leap into the cab and slam the doors, then kill all the wasps that came in with us, and only then eat our lunch in peace.

In such places all food resources are stripped and then population growth is limited. But if some nests are found and destroyed, that frees up food resources for other colonies, that then increase accordingly.

Which is why in wasp dense areas, my own experience is that finding and killing individual nests does not often achieve much. Just thankful for Vespex.
 
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kaihoka

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What's happening here is some of my sites they are almost completely absent, other places have been swarming with them to such an extent I probably would have lost hives had it not been for vespex.

I don't know why this is, but speculate that other beekeepers may have already controlled them in some places.
There is no wasp control happening here.
It may be that the 200ml of rain we had in november affected their build up .
 
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Christchurch
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In bishopdale, chch we had a couple of nests at least...wasps fighting each other. I used a yellow wasp catcher and wasp attractant. It took a week but no more wasps near us. I think I killed all their scouts so they forgot about us.
No leaping fences for me so couldnt chase the nest down. Harder in urban areas.
The one nest at home was under turlock type bush. Petrol applied .. then match. My wife wont ket me near matches any more ... something about ruining her garden plants.
 
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not sure she should allow you near petrol either... the flame step was redundant, you probably know that already though
I'm known for always being zealous in ensuring things are completed well.

I over engineer my wood work and that trait applies in other areas. As a developer I used to write exception code for theoretical impossible event flows... which is why it's still in production years later.

It's also possible TMI in my responses for same reason ;)

I told my wife I dont wet my pants and I'm kind to animals (except wasps, sandflies, fly a...) so nothing to worry about with matches. Shes still not convinced.
 
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After 50 years of tracking down wasp nests I am pretty good at it but vespex is way more effective and far more cost-effective. Granular cyanide was my tool of choice when I was young but you haven't been able to get it for years. petrol definitely works better when it's not lit but lighting it is just so much more fun.
 
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