Other Pests

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets prey on both bees and their honey stores. In spring and summer, they collect insects and carrion to feed to their larvae. The adults don’t eat any of this. Instead, the adults feed on a sugary substance that the larvae excrete after eating the insects and carrion. Later in the year, the adults focus on collecting sugary material, so honey from bees is a prime target. There are several ways to reduce impact to your hive.

  • There are yellow jacket traps available with various attractants, but most find that these have limited value in eliminating yellow jackets.
  • You can make a homemade trap by filling a large bucket with 3-4″ of soapy water. Suspend a chunk of meat one inch above the water. The Yellow Jackets will land in the soapy water and drown.
  • If you can locate the tunnel leading to their nest, you can block the entrance with a rock and dust the rock liberally with Sevin. They will crawl through the Sevin dust and carry the insecticide into their brood chamber. USE YOUR BEE SUIT FOR THIS!
  • You can also try creating a meat trap that is drizzled with MaxForce FC Magnum roach gel. The Yellow Jackets get this gel on their feet and carry it back to the hive where it kills their queen and larvae. You’ll want to put this meat bait inside a cage to prevent pets from getting into it.

Skunks

Skunks will scratch at the hive entrance at night and eat any bees that come out to defend the hive. You can reduce this issue by having a hive stand that is 16-18″ tall. The skunks will have to stand on their hind legs to reach the hive, and the hair on their belly is short enough that the bees can sting them. Other parts of the skunk have long hair minimizing the risk of bee stings.

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