yellow jackets

lkaz61September 26, 2005


I was at a picnic this weekend where I and several guests watched with much interest several yellow jackets frantically devouring jumbo shrimp cocktail. The bees seemed to be voraciously eating, but after much effort each emerged from the platters in triumph with perfectly knawed balls of the meaty shellfish and flew away, holding tightly to their spoils. Is it typical for yellow jackets to feed on shrimp and to bring it back to their nests? Would love to know more.

Thank you.


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Meat is meat, no matter what species it comes from. These hornets are carnivorous, and it is easier to catch a shrimp in a coctail than look for scarce (at this time of year) insect larvae (their usual fare).

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 8:55AM
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yes, they always bite off a chunk and fly away. Some one told me that if you hang a hotdog about 1 inch above a pan of soapy water you'll kill alot. They bite off a chunk, then when they go to fly it weighs them down a little and they hit the water and drowned.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 2:09AM
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Gosh, 2 posts on how proud you are to kill any flying insects that you can. The killing of the stinging insectivores like Yellow Jackets and Bald-face Paper Wasps means that you must have to spray to kill the extra flies and mosquitos that live on as a result of the predators being sprayed, swatted or flown around like a kite. Nice going. Here on the beekeeping forum, we really like people who spray a lot and generally try to impose their will on nature unnecessarily. An antiseptic world viewed from the window of an automobile at 60mph is a good direction to take our world.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:35PM
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I don't mind bumble bees, honey bees or paper wasps, these bees are not aggressive. I am deathly afraid of yellow jackets and hornets though. I bought a nice bee suit off the net last year so now when I spot a yellow jacket nest I just walk right up to it and stir them up with a stick and then massacre them with sevin. Don't get me wrong, I think they're beutiful in a way, and interesting, and I like researching them on the internet, but if there's a nest in my siding or garge attic or my yard, they need to be killed. I have approx. 50 paper wasp nests under my eves but I leave those alone because they're pretty mellow.
The best way to prevent over population is to kill the queens in the spring. The yellow jacket traps form home depot work great, they come with the attractent. I saw this add in the paper that said "FREE" hornet nest removal
So I called it and it was a bunch of hippies that release them back into the wild. I think that's going a bit far.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:23PM
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hey pete, it's me again, just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't bee friends. I just think that because I am so afraid of them is why I get so much satifation out of killing them. I have 2 young daughters that I let run around in my yard of clover with literally hundreds of honey bees. But I don't want then to get severly injured by a rabid nest of yellow jackets, you know what I mean? Even though we disagree I like reading your responses it gets me kinda riled up. Can you suggest any alternatives other than killing them? I guess I could fence off a small area by the entrance hole so my daughters don't step right in a nest.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:36PM
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Smokey, I never said that I couldn't be friends. I doubt that your land is big enough that you would have 70 Yellowjacket nests if you didn't kill them (from your other post). So what you are doing is ridding the neighborhood of beneficial insects. And the point of your having 2 young kids to protect is baloney. Please. I grew up in the woods, with lots of stinging insects, with 4 sisters and 4 brothers, and none of us are any the worse for it. We learned what is tolerated and what isn't. We weren't made to feel that we could run nature to suit our wants. We didn't try to kill all the hornets we could entice with hot dogs over water, etc. Your irrational fears are what propels you to hunt down the nests and kill them, so quit pretending that you are doing it for your kids.

We had a Bald-face paper wasp nest (basketball sized) in the eaves of one of our outbuildings one year, and we even had a wedding ceremony there in Sept. without a single person getting stung. (My hammock that hangs right below the nest had to be moved.) Granted, there was no jumping up and down (they hate vibrations), but we sat there many summer afternoons and evenings having a couple of beers and playing cards, watching the progress on the nest. My 7 yr. dau. joined us. We taught her how to respect all the critters, not that some should be stirred up and poisoned with Sevin. BTW, that use of Sevin is illegal. Also, the chemical remains can damage the nervous system of any child that might play around there after it is made 'safe'.

One more thing, Bald-face Wasps are about as docile as any stinging insect. I can approach within 6ft. of any nest and watch them build. Teaching a child to respect the boundries of behavior of wid animals is a better way to deal with them. Otherwise we should shoot all the animals that can hurt us? Deer, bear, coyote, raccoons, cattle, dogs. Heck, where do you draw the line?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 7:10PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Here, some more info. on bees.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Bee Info.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 9:26PM
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hey Pete, bald face Hornets are the ones that make the basketball sized nests, and are one of the most aggresive, along with yellow jackets. PAPER WASPS make very small "honey comb" shaped nests with their larvae exposed.
Thanks for your opinions. You should go to the peta web site they will send you a free dvd called "chew on this", narrated by Alec Baldwin. I'm not really into any PETA stuff but the video was good. See YA, smokey27

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:38PM
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Smokey, you profess to be friendly, then are smug and sarcastic. Instead of the PETA website, or this website, perhaps you should limit yourself to Joke-of-the-Day websites, and websites that educate. Bald-face Paper Wasps are not, not, not (emphasis for your benefit) at all agressive if you don't approach them with chemicals etc. I have experience, you have irrational fears. Getting suited up and spraying a neurotoxin around the yard is poor parenting. Maybe you should also visit a parenting site to help you with your problems.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 8:40AM
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If you click on the link above from konrad you will see that research shows that bald faced hornets are aggresive, whether or not chemicals are involved.
I don't mean any disrespect but I think you are confused. There is no such thing as a bald faced paper wasp. There are bald faced hornets and there are paper wasps, paper wasps are the non aggresive ones. I told you about the free video because I thought you would like it. Peace Out, Smokey27

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:55PM
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Hey guys!
I live in New Zealand. I read in the New Zealand Beekeeper that one of our researchers kept wasps. He called it a vespiary.
The type is known as a german wasp. Here they are notified by the biosecurity agency. They look like smooth, mean versions of italian bees with bright yellow and black stripes.
He was suggesting the possibility of beekeepers taking up waspkeeping to kill insects on farms for pest control
It would seem that the keeping of wasps is no more difficult than bees, same clothes etc.
Horizontal frames, and some sort of paper foundation.
Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 4:04PM
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Yellow jackets are one of the few insects that go out of their way to be annoying. Like bees, they can be attracted by foods out doors. They don't know any better so they can be forgiven for that, but wasps go too far with their hovering 3 inches from faces, not taking the hint of a gentle sweeping motion of the hand... they know what they're doing and I hate them with a passion. If they stuck to killing other bugs and flowers instead of making a nest in my attic, I wouldn't feel the need to spray them, rip out their stinger, jam it into their body and flush them down the toilet. A good wasp is a wasp drowned in a jar of diluted honey underneath a pile of other dead wasps...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 4:49AM
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Yeah they're wicked little suckers aren't they? I would rather kill the yellow jackets and have a few more flies buzzing around than a yellow jacket stinging the shiznit out of me.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 3:46AM
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I hate yellow jackets as much as they hate me. I destroy every nest I find, (me 1000's vs. yellow jackets 000) they usually find me first. Don't like skeeters, gnats and roaches. Kill them too, all I see.
To all the biting, stinging, bug lovers, donate your body to the local maggot farm. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:38PM
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