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Skipper Billy

Wasp's nest in my Observatory!! Help!!!

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Oddly it's never struck me before, but I guess the reason honey bees can learn the location of a new "home" is because that is part of their natural evolved behaviour.  It's exactly what they do when they swarm.

The common wasp however lives in a colony that dies at the end of the summer once next year's generation of queen wasps have left to find somewhere to hole up for the winter.  They have no need of learning that they now live somewhere else, because it's not part of their natural pattern of behaviour.

James

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13 minutes ago, carastro said:

I agree, I never kill anything if I can avoid it.   Even spiders that I have a phobia for I bought a spider pick up stick on a very long arm, so I can put them outside unharmed.  But I would strive to try to get it removed especially before it gets too big.  The idea of the repellent spray sounds a good idea.  

Not sure if they are like bees though, if you remove the nest and put it elsewhere the Workers will still come back to the former place trying to find the nest.  We had that with a wild bees nest once that had nested in a bird box on a garage wall near the house, it was a bit dangerously close to the kitchen door and we had a young child then, so as some were getting in the kitchen we contacted a bee keeper and got some advice.  We moved it down the garden at night.  The following day there were hoards of bees hovering around the garage where the nest had previously been, so we had to go and fetch the bird box/nest and put it in a wheel barrow below the place where the nest had been.  By the end of the day the bees had found the new nest position and all was well, then we had to move it a couple of feet a day down the garden. Lol

I have also heard that wasps are an important part of the ecology. 

Carole 

Sadly if you put most spiders you find in the house outside Carole, you're likely to be killing them.  Apparently a large proportion of spiders found indoors have actually evolved to live indoors and aren't able to survive outside.  Possibly the best you can do is offer them an alternative "indoors" where you don't mind them being, but even then I'm not sure they'd all adjust.  Some are just used to living with humans now.

Moving the bees is an interesting one.  I've moved hives exactly the same way as you explain when I wanted to keep them here but didn't want the hive exactly where it was.  The bees can find their home again as long as it's sufficiently close to where it was when they left, but it does need to be quite close.  I do know of people who have moved hives several miles away for a month and then brought them back, just to be able to move them by a few metres overall though.

James

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I have a largish spider living behind the curtain pelmet, I rescued a wasp that was about to become lunch recently and swished it out the window, not really in the Springwatch ethos of non intervention I guess :grin:

Dave

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Just now, Davey-T said:

I have a largish spider living behind the curtain pelmet, I rescued a wasp that was about to become lunch recently and swished it out the window, not really in the Springwatch ethos of non intervention I guess :grin:

Dave

Indeed not :D

If the spider doesn't find anything else to eat, it will starve.  If the wasp doesn't get back to the nest with some food for the larvae, I suspect the other wasps won't be sitting around in the evening saying "We're a bit short tonight.  Has anyone seen Elsie?  I'm sure she was here this morning.  I bet she's run off with that horsefly from number 32.  It'll end in tears, I know it will!"

James

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I imagine it would take a spider a long while to starve.

I have a BIG spider in a sort of funnel web in the garage and rescued a big bumble bee from its web, spider got really annoyed and I had to poke it with a pencil to get it to back off :D

Dave

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

I have a BIG spider in a sort of funnel web in the garage and rescued a big bumble bee from its web, spider got really annoyed and I had to poke it with a pencil to get it to back off :D

Dave

So would you if I ran off with your lunch.

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Are wasps more dangerous in the UK? Here in Canada they are quite calm. Still since I have two young kids when the nests appears the wasp spray comes out and they come down like jets hit by SAMs.

My neighbor setup a trap each year to thin the numbers but it never seems to do that much good.

I get why some people don't want to kill them but there aren't always many options. One thing I do find is if you kill off all the wasp with the spray but leave the nest there it tends to prevent any returns. Problem is my wife hates the appearance so eventually she goes knocks it down and the cycle starts again.

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For future use you could try hanging up one of those decoy wasp's nests.  Usually available from discount stores for a pound or two.   The theory is that wasps won't make a nest close to an existing one and will find an alternative location. It could certainly work for an enclosed space such as a shed or observatory. 

Deb 

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Moving the bees is an interesting one.  I've moved hives exactly the same way as you explain when I wanted to keep them here but didn't want the hive exactly where it was.  The bees can find their home again as long as it's sufficiently close to where it was when they left, but it does need to be quite close.  I do know of people who have moved hives several miles away for a month and then brought them back, just to be able to move them by a few metres overall though.

I have to confess that after moving the wheelbarrow containing the Bees nest for the 3rd time they abandoned the nest and went elsewhere, but at least we didn't kill them. 

Quote

Sadly if you put most spiders you find in the house outside Carole, you're likely to be killing them. 

I am referring to the Spiders in my observatory, so they are already half outdoors.  I find over a period of a few months though I end up with loads of dead carcasses in the obsy where spiders and other insects have got in but I guess roasted in the heat or starved to death, so in some ways I am doing them a favour putting them outside.

Carole

Carole 

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9 hours ago, JamesF said:

Moving the bees is an interesting one.  I've moved hives exactly the same way as you explain when I wanted to keep them here but didn't want the hive exactly where it was.  The bees can find their home again as long as it's sufficiently close to where it was when they left, but it does need to be quite close.  I do know of people who have moved hives several miles away for a month and then brought them back, just to be able to move them by a few metres overall though.

I'm a great fan of the magic twigs!

We've moved hives short distances with great success by getting the bees to reorientate.

Move at night and then place twigs or grass across the entrance to hinder their exit in the morning.

The vast majority will reorientate with only a handful heading back to the  original site. I've wondered if these were bees that had stayed out late the night before anyway! :D

Back to the wasps. As others have said, if the queen has only just started then it's easy to remove the nest whilst she's out, as long as you make sure there's no way for her to get back in.

As others have also said, wasps are good pollinators and great predators and only turn to the sweet stuff when they mature.

Most wasp traps are inefficient and so only tend to encourage more wasps rather than catch them all, so I wouldn't put them anywhere you want to sit or eat!

I've never really understood why they're seen as the scourge that they are (and yes, I've been stung plenty of times, but more by honey bees these days).

Just to really thwack the wasp nest with a big stick, I find other people's dogs more of a nuisance than wasps! :D

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Result!

A work colleague keeps bees and he suggested trying his smoke machine. The observatory is stripped out bare for the summer ie no kit of any kind in it.

Smoke producer at full tilt - doors shut - wasps all flew off quick time.

Nest removed and put in log store.

A bit early to tell but there are wasps around the nests new location and none around the observatory which I have sprayed with catnip - (smells minty).

Fingers crossed!

 

 

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I have a lot of respect for Spiders. I have them in my Garage, and I never bother them.
A bit messy with their webs of course, but hey, I wouldn't care for anyone breaking up my home, so I leave  them alone.
 They are resourceful, tenacious, and determined, they never give up, and so deserve respect, Besides, I find it difficult to destroy any life.
Shades of Robert the Bruce here, but I can believe he took inspiration from that little blighter
he watched working away in  the  hidey hole cave he was in. So taking a lead from that Spider, he went on to success too. ?

Ron.

 

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I like spiders - they catch flies - I hate flies!!

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Well done Skipper Billy, that sounds like a result.

See if you can make the obsy wasp proof for next year. :)

2 hours ago, Gina said:

I like spiders - they catch flies - I hate flies!!

Aw, now come on Gina, flies (or at least their maggots) are really really good at cleaning up dead and decaying matter. They're actually also very meticulous about keeping clean. It's just what they've eaten and trod in last and that some vomit on their food that might cause a problem. What's not to like! :D

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Well done skipper billy really pleased to read they were saved

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5 hours ago, Skipper Billy said:

Result!

A work colleague keeps bees and he suggested trying his smoke machine. The observatory is stripped out bare for the summer ie no kit of any kind in it.

Smoke producer at full tilt - doors shut - wasps all flew off quick time.

Nest removed and put in log store.

A bit early to tell but there are wasps around the nests new location and none around the observatory which I have sprayed with catnip - (smells minty).

Fingers crossed!

Well done. Excellent. 

Glad you got some help. It's the sort of thing that would probably go ok on your own but you never know. You could get nastily stung.  

You do realise that from now on your nickname will be Old Smokie .... or Sting possibly! 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Skipper Billy said:

Result!

A work colleague keeps bees and he suggested trying his smoke machine. The observatory is stripped out bare for the summer ie no kit of any kind in it.

Smoke producer at full tilt - doors shut - wasps all flew off quick time.

Nest removed and put in log store.

A bit early to tell but there are wasps around the nests new location and none around the observatory which I have sprayed with catnip - (smells minty).

Fingers crossed!

 

 

Will you have to repeat the process again in the log store, when you want to get your logs? ...in the meantime ...I'll buzz off! ?

Edited by Philip R
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46 minutes ago, Philip R said:

Will you have to repeat the process again in the log store, when you want to get your logs? ...in the meantime ...I'll buzz off! ?

I wont be going in the log store until late October and they will have gone by then - I hope ? 

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I really enjoy reading these post where everyone is able to banter back and forth, even when they have different views and opinions!!

 

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They do seem to love observatories, of which I have six. I have to go in and out by day, collecting data on USB sticks etc, and have so far been pretty unsentimental about killing them. It gives me no pleasure to do so though. I did read that destroying a few nests in a single local environment actually has no effect on the net local population which, according to the article, would recover to the same population level as before and be stabilized by other factors within that environment. The nests will just be in better places from our point of view. I have no idea whether this is true or false.

Olly

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Please do check on them in, say, a week and see if they're still there.  I'm intrigued to know how it goes.  I've never known anyone successfully move a wasp nest before.

James

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Just now, ollypenrice said:

They do seem to love observatories, of which I have six. I have to go in and out by day, collecting data on USB sticks etc, and have so far been pretty unsentimental about killing them. It gives me no pleasure to do so though. I did read that destroying a few nests in a single local environment actually has no effect on the net local population which, according to the article, would recover to the same population level as before and be stabilized by other factors within that environment. The nests will just be in better places from our point of view. I have no idea whether this is true or false.

Olly

I'm fairly sure it's true, Olly.  They will nest in all sorts of odd places, many of which we'd never even notice without specifically looking for them.  Often the first I know of some nests here is when a badger has been after them.  I reckon there will always be far more nests out there than we realise.

James

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20 hours ago, Jkulin said:

Shame on any of you that would kill rather than try and help relocate or wilfully destroy life.

Chapeau David for trying?

I find myself to be curious, are you then a Vegan? I am not having a go, just being nosy!
As for them being wonderful, well yes, like most life forms, they have a purpose, but try telling that to someone whom I used to know, who discovered he was allergic to their sting and got a free trip to A and E! :icon_rolleyes:

As for liking spiders Gina, again great, just consider yourself lucky you do not live in Australia, where you get the Redback spider, for instance. I was told by someone living in Sydney that one had built a web across his back door, frame edge to frame edge I assume. He did not want to kill it and anyway, he said it would get anyone trying to break in, as they are quite small and difficult to see, if you are at all distracted! The poison is quite bad and there is an antivenom available, but still where else other than Australia would you get someone considering it good to have a guard spider?! :ohmy:

He had kids though, so I think his wife made him move it eventually. It did nearly get him though, which is how he discovered it.

Back to wasps: I had read about the decoy nest being a good deterrent, they do not like nesting near another nest it seems, however, I once had two queens building nests at the same time in one small shed. I did what JamesF suggests and sealed all entrances and they got the message it seemed.

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I've been stung by wasps a few times but so far not allergic to them, once when fitting a kitchen there was a dopey one ( guess it was that time of year ) in a cupboard so I picked it up and put it on the window cill, then I'm lying in the cupboard and it drops back in and stings me on the neck so I picked it up and chucked it out in the cold, another time my son and I were removing a big concrete lintel and as we pulled it out there was a wasp nest on top and we were immediately enveloped in a cloud of angry wasps, had to lower the lintel slowly to the floor before retreating and slamming the door, only got stung once right between my eyes :grin:
Empty house so we went home and by next morning there were only a few flying around but the nest had been completely destroyed so they eventually buzzed off.

Dave

 

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1 hour ago, Greymouser said:

I find myself to be curious, are you then a Vegan? I am not having a go, just being nosy!

I'm vegetarian and have been for 36+ years, I don't eat anything that an animal has to give its life for.

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