Okay, please be warned the the images contained within this posting may distress some viewers who, like me, care greatly for honey bees…
So, in the apiary today happen to notice a few bees walking about looking rather odd until you have that light bulb moment and notice that they no longer have an abdomen. This is a classic first sign that European Wasps have changed their diet recently from carbohydrates that they collected as honey dew off aphids and the like to protein. This event happens each year though we appear to be a few weeks ahead this year than we were last year for this event.
The culprit?, well thats the European Wasps who will be circling your hives and attaching any bees that are walking from the hive. Soon they will turn their efforts to the guard bees attacking them in a similar way to then raid the bee colony for bee larvae that they will carry out of the hive for food for their rapidly growing and very hungry colony.
The wasp below, with its wing off at a crazy angle as a result of my size 110 Dr Martin shoe being planted with significant effort was one of a number of wasps circling the floor of an apiary in Weston Creek.
Keeping your entrances to you hives restricted helps the bees to defend against the wasps but it also pays to have a walk around your neighbourhood to find the wasp nest so it can then be removed.
Please be aware of the significant risks and associated fines of off license applications of pesticides that can be found if you google anything hard enough as these backyard voodoo wasp control recipes pose a significant risk to the environment and go a long way to damaging the good name of responsible beekeepers.
Be alert not alarmed, the world needs more lerts…