Recently I had an e-mail dialogue with a new swarm trapper from Georgia about some difficulties they are experiencing. They deployed their traps this Spring and wasps began to set up shop in 4 of their 6 traps. This subject also came up in the Treatment-Free Beekeeping Group on Facebook a while back and I was a little befuzzled. I put out a lot of traps, somewhere between 20 and 30 each of the last 4 years. I have NEVER had a wasp nest in any of my traps EVER. I don’t know if it has to do with my trap location, climate, or just the particular wasps inhabiting different regions of the United States. It got me wondering, are there others out there annoyed with wasps in their traps?
This year I will deploy 37 traps total. I will be on the lookout for wasps. Everyone else should be on the lookout as well. After researching their habits, it seems that a swarm trap would make an ideal location for wasp queens to set up shop. Swarm Traps provide a cavity, that’s dark and protected from weather, precisely what paper wasps are looking for! I could not find any non-toxic method to dissuade paper wasps from building in a location and all forms of recommended control were chemical in nature. DO NOT spray wasp spray in your trap boxes to get rid of nests you find.The spray residue will persist in that trap and turn it into a graveyard for scout bees. Gear up with a hood and gloves and smash them out of existence.
If you happen to know of anything that could be incorporated into the design, coloration, or baiting of a Trap to detour wasps please leave comments. Remember…… Wasps aren’t all bad. If you are a gardener wasps actually may be helping you by predating pest insects. Our goal is to keep them OUT of SwarmTraps. Any help would be much appreciated by myself and anyone else that may read this. Thank you Billy for the question and pictures.
By the way if you haven’t gotten your traps out yet… GET ON IT! The weather here has been cool and damp for the last several weeks. The next 7-10 days are looking like prime swarming conditions with highs getting into the 80’s after some rains. The first humid day we have that gets 80-85 I anticipate some HITS. I hope to have pictures of full traps soon. A good beekeeping friend of mine near Richmond, IN sent me a text Tuesday that one of his UNFED 3-deep colonies swarmed on him. On Wednesday he found a trap had taken a HIT. I got a call about a swarm Wednesday night when I was working and passed the information along to another beekeeping friend of mine. It’s on!
Here’s the traps I remembered to take pictures of this year.
It’s on! I’ve acquired five swarms in the past ten days. Three were taken from trees. Two occupied boxes with drawn comb.
(swarm photo link) http://postimg.org/image/4q1ctt497/
Hi: I am enjoying reading your blog very much! Thanks,Bill
Your welcome Bill. I will try to keep the posts coming.