Yellowjackets

woohoomanJune 20, 2013

Pest, pollinator, or just there? I NEVER see them pollinating like the bees. They just hang around the garden and get aggressive every time I get near. I don't take any action but they "bug" the crap out of me. I almost feel like taking spray to them and since I have plenty of bees, I just might.

Kevin

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yellowjackets make very poor pollinators, as they are practically hairless and have only a passing interest in visiting flowers, anyway. They are predatores and scavengers and bee keepers know them to be marauders.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:48PM
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woohooman

So, they are actually considered a beneficial? What's their prey? Humans? :/

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 3:52PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

take a lawn chair to where you see them ..

and sit there and watch them until you figure out where they are ..

and then do something about it ...

they will not bother you.. just sitting there ...

adult beverage.. might help you calm down enough to sit there long enough.. lol ...

are you sure the are YJ's .... as compared to what i call paper wasps.. the ones that make those big paper hives???

once you find their house... you can kill them ... or alter your own patterns ...

you would get a can of spray .. and come at them.. just before dark.. they come home at night.. and you spray the nest.. when they are all there.. and lethargic ... try to avoid spraying into the wind... its not pretty.. lol ...

if they are the paper wasp ... you can use the spray as above... or you can just keep watering the hive .. i said they are paper wasps.. not paper mache' ... lol.. they will simply move the hive if it keeps getting wet ...

simply point the hose at them.. keep an eye out.. and run, screaming like a little girl.. should you see a black swarm coming at you .. been there.. not proud to say.. done that.. lol ... [actually that is along bee story] .... but joking aside... just set a sprinkler to soak the thing for a few days.. and they will move on.;...

i once did that.. they were at 3 feet in a shrub .. later that fall i found them at 12 feet in an oak 200 feet away ... which was a much better place for me ... presuming of course.. it was the same horde ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 4:56PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The foods of yellow jackets are other insects (good and bad), carrion, picnic food and drinks. Bee keepers hate them because they will enter a hive like a bunch of thugs, kill the bees, devour the larvae, and rob the honey.

Yellow jackets are more likely to sting without provocation than bees or other wasps. That's usually because they aren't shy about showing up at our outdoor activities.

It's up to you, Kevin, to make up your mind about how to categorize these insects. Just be sure that your ID is correct. Most wasps and bees are very docile, as ken says. Even yellow jackets shouldn't be killed unless they are being aggressive or have built a nest (often underground) where close encounters are inevitable.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 5:39PM
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woohooman

Thanks guys. I'll leave them be for now, but if i get stung, it's war.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

During the spring, and early summer, as the Yellow Jackets are building the population they are interested more in protein so they will be predators of insects, bad, good, or innocuous. Later in the year they will be looking for sugars that the queen, the only member of that hive to live all winter, will need to survive the coming cold.
While these wasps are more interested in providing for the general welfare of the colony they will also very aggressively defend what they perceive to be their territory.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 7:46AM
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