Wasps in your beehives are a real problem at the end of the bees season in New Zealand. It seems in the Waitakere ranges, wasps gain strength as the bee season is ending. So you get situations where wasps attack your weaker bee colonies and can kill them off.
At different times of the season the wasps are looking for different things, sometimes the nice stored honey your bees have been working all summer to collect or sometimes the bees themselves. Either way it's not a good situation for your bees and you need to help them out.
Over the years we have tried several ideas to stop these introduced pests to New Zealand getting into our hives. And we think we have come across the ultimate solution. It's a combination of several ideas we have come across on interwebs.
It's a Robbing Screen and you attach it attaches the front of your beehive with a bungy cord (supplied), you add the guard at night so the bees reorient with the new hive configuration.
- The robbing guard has three modes:-
- Open, the bees can come and go and need travel up the side of the hive box to get out. For some reason wasps don't like to navigate tunnels to do their evil work.
- Second “Robbing in Progress”, turn the guard around and open up the moving door. This leaves the bees a small space to defend (20mm by 8mm)
- Third option is the “Shut the gate” mode, this is used when you want to block off the hive to any coming and goings. Useful for closing the hive when transporting or if your evil neighbor is going to be spraying pesticides on their crops.
All modes provide the bee ventilation through the steel mesh, and work equally well in stopping robbing honey bees.
Here are some photos:-
We have started selling Robbing Screens, If you would you like to buy one, Here is the product page:-
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