At this time of year (Spring), the wasp’s are out and about. They can easily overrun a weak colony or a nuc inside of a few days. You can reduce the entrance to the hive or nuc, but that will pose a problem if bee’s are busy bringing in pollen or nectar and may cause a build-up of bees at the entrance. It takes 4 or 5 bee’s to overpower and kill 1 wasp. This is ok at the start but after a while, the bees just give up and once enough wasps get into your hive it spells the end.
To make up some wasp traps is very easy. You will need an empty plastic drink container as can be seen in the picture. A small knife and a scissors, some pebbles and a bottle of the cheap coke from a supermarket. Most shops refer to this as a cola. This contains a lot of sugar which the wasp’s love. Use whatever mixture you wish in the container but I have found over the years the best is COLA.
To make your trap
- Cut the bottle halfway or one third down and put some pebbles into the bottom to stop it blowing away. Turn the top part of the bottle upside down and slide it into the bottom part so it looks like a funnel.
- At this stage, you can put in about 1 or 2 inches of COLA and you are ready to go. Place it on the roof of your hive and you should have your wasp’s going in.
All going well and if there are plenty of wasps around, you may need to empty your bottle out every second or third day. For some reason or other when the wasp goes into the funnel and gets his drink she is unable to fly straight back up to get out and falls back down into the mixture.
-Ken Norton (White Abbey Association, Kildare )