Saturday, September 21, 2013

MF Western Yellow Jackets

Why do we hate yellow jackets?

Here are my two middle fingers, sorry no disrespect intended. On the right my finger tip is clearly inflamed. This is because of a western yellow jacket bit /sting. I was waving my hands shooing them out of my way when ka-bam right in the tip of my right middle finger. We have a scotch pine in our front yard which has been afflicted by pine scale for at least the 4 years that we have lived in this house. The scale exudes honey dew which attracts the western yellow jackets and other insects. As a beekeeper and gardener, I have a high tolerance for insects, but the western yellow jacket... lets just say its not a love hate relationship.
I have two yellow jacket traps which I bait with pheromone bait. And believe me I have them baited early in the year to attract as many queens as possible. I even sit next to the bee hives with a fly swatter playing "whack a wasp" as they seem to troll for hive debris, dead bees, in front of the hives. I've even seen them sneak into the hive past the guard bees.
Once you smash one wasp it seems to attract another, see below.
All beekeepers know they are bad news in hives, as they rob honey and whatever else they can.
Today's total: Yellow jacket stings =1 ; splatted yellow jackets = 12
I'm still not happy with those numbers

dead yellow jackets

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