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Today I came across a sad, sad sight- though provided encouragement for the Wasp Wipeout we are hoping to achieve here in the Queenstown Lakes area.
3 hives, destroyed within a few days by nasty, introduced German Wasps.
Here you can see the wasps caught in some sugar water, with a honey bee dead in the center. It was incredible to see just how many wasps were inside the hive, and within such a sort period of time!
Scout wasps have found the beehive when it's dormant and currently at its most vulnerable and more or less issued instructions to its wasp family to come back and infiltrate. Hundreds of wasps (also known as Yellow Jacket's) have come and eaten the honey and brood cells within the beehives.
As part of the Beehive art program Honey & Cocoa ran earlier this year- we are providing solutions to eradicate the wasp as best we can. We will be offering volunteers training in Vespex handling and providing bait and bait stations to be used locally around the Wakatipu basin in an attempt to kill hives. These must be used at the right time of year so will wait until it warms up to implement.
We have also just donated $2500 to the Tasman Environmental Trust from the fundraiser, which will be used next season for Wasp Wipeout!
Local bee health as well as a strong and well educated local beekeeping community is something we are passionate about creating and supporting. We thank everyone who helped raise money for our cause, painting and purchasing beehives and donating- and hopefully we can repeat this process next year!
These nasty creatures are the last thing we want to see near and in our hives.
We have teamed up with Be. Local honey and a few other key local bee keepers to deliver training, organic Varroa Mite solutions as well Vespex handling certification locally later this year- if you want to create your own Queenstown Manuka or raw organic home honey blend, become a local hobby beekeeper or just interested in helping out... get in touch and come along to one of our information evenings soon.
Just like the honey bee, together we are strong!