We were at the apiary this morning and noticed a considerable increase in the number of wasps and, worryingly, some were trying to get into the hives.
We put on reduced entrances and also blocked the reduced entrances with grass to leave a smaller area for the bees to defend.
At home, I made some wasp traps with used plastic drinks bottles filled with jam and fruit juice. I returned this afternoon and positioned them around the apiary. I closely watched all the hives and, although most hives had some wasp activity near them, the hive with the most activity was Claire in Hive 4. This surprised me because it’s the strongest hive and I would have assumed they’d have attacked the weakest – so I watched some more…
Claire in Hive 4 is still throwing out Drones. It’s vicious! Bees are attacking & physically expelling the Drones who are desperately trying to get back in. The wasps seem to be hanging around waiting for the Drones to be killed or weakened & then going in for a feed! I know Wasps are scavengers and will eat other insects but it’s all a bit gruesome! Apparently they like to take the thorax of bees back to the nest as it’s the ‘meat ball’ i.e. the flight muscles!
I’ll pop back tomorrow and check the hives and traps. I hope the hives are strong enough to cope as there isn’t much else I can do!