Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Honeybees and a YellowJacket

Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2015

Last week I had a photo of some stinging insects or “bitey bugs” next to my hand. There were 2 Honeybees side by side and a Yellow Jacket behind one of them. This time of year we seem to see more of these insects partly due to the honeybees preparing for winter, and also because their normal nectar sources, flowers, are mostly gone for this period of time.

 

Generally bees are coming after sweet drinks that have been spilled and they are not much of a danger to people at this time especially due to their drive to get ready for winter. That is why I took the photo with my finger close to them, showing my bravery. What I didn’t know was that the yellow jacket had flown up and was very close as well. Yellow Jackets can be very aggressive and can sting repeatedly so we do need to beware of them at any time of year.

If you are having a problem with them, then frequently removing trash from the area will help or distance yourself from food and drink trash or spills. If a honeybee gets very close to you, then remain calm and they’ll almost always fly away. If I see yellow jackets or other wasps, I get away.

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Honeybees live over the winter but insects in the wasp family mainly do not, most of them die off.

Yellow Jacket colonies start each spring when a single queen, who mated the previous fall and then overwintered in the soil or leaf litter or in an old log — starts a nest. The nest is made of horizontal combs completely surrounded by a paper envelope made of tiny bits of wood fiber that are chewed into a paper-like pulp. Wasps and hornets build new nests every year.

During the summer months, colonies rapidly increase in size and may reach several hundred workers by September. In late fall, new queens emerge from the colony, mate, and seek shelter for the winter. The old founder queen dies, and as winter arrives, the remaining colony also dies. Wasps and hornets don’t reuse the same nest the following year.

 

Here’s where a soft drink had spilled and the insects were abundant.

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This week’s question is about this small tree growing here in Donalsonville.  I took this photo last week. It’s unusual to see anything blooming this time of year. What is this?

 

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One Response to “Question of the Week – Honeybees and a YellowJacket”

  1. Bobby Bass said

    Almost looks like a coffee weed that now has a woody stem. hahaha Sure am going to miss these emails after your retirement. Please send me a link if you keep something going. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

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