How Do I Get Rid of Yellow Jackets in My Beehive?
Ask the Expert!
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Jacinta Mattsen Hartwig writes:
I had yellow jackets move into my new hive, how do I get rid of them and reuse my hive. There were no bees in it yet.
Hi Jacinta – Yellow jackets in your beehive? What an exciting thing to discover — not! It does happen, of course, especially when equipment is stored outside. The good news is, as a beekeeper, you’re well equipped to rid your hive of them. Obviously, you don’t want to eliminate them by chemical means because you’ll taint the hive equipment for the bees.
My suggestion is to suit up with all your protective gear and make sure you have no holes anywhere. Then, go into the hive, and find their nest. They will be very cranky and will do their best to attack you so stay strong and keep breathing! Your goal will be to find their nest and remove it. Once you remove it, I’d just smash it along with the queen, if you can find her, too. If you are able to get them all out of the equipment, I’d find a place to store the equipment where they can’t access it. If you can’t get them all out, do your best to seal it up so those inside can’t get out and those outside can’t get in. In all likelihood, you’ll find it vacant in a couple days and can then store it somewhere safe.
I hope that helps! – Josh Vaisman