Pest: Predator of the honeybee
The common wasp (Vespa vulgaris) is ever present in our gardens throughout most of the year. During the early part of the year, they are busy building nests and rearing their brood. The protein building food for brood growth comes from the abundance of garden pests they predate upon and so do our gardeners huge favours by keeping these pests in check. They are very efficent and ruthless hunters of their prey. After taking protein back to feed their brood, they are rewarded with a sweet secretion from the brood. The gives the wasp a carbohydrate/energy boost to continue hunting with.
During the latter part of the year when their brood rearing is finished and they become deprived of their "sugar fix", they turn their attention to other sweet sources of food and a weak colony of honeybees will present an ideal opportunity (as does your summer barbeque in the garden!). If they can get a foothold inside a hive, they will rob all of the stores and decimate the colony. Some regard this as natures way of ensuring the survival of the fittest as a strong colony will be capable of defending the hive from this pest.
Later in the year as autumn sets in, all of the wasps will perish with the exception of the new generation of queen wasps. The new fertile queens will hibernate for the winter in readiness for ready starting a new nest in the following spring. Not all of these queen wasps survive their winter hibernation.
Wasp traps deployed in an apiary to lure the wasps away from colonies.
Looking for a really efficient wasp trap? Try this one by WaspBane. Learn about wasps while you are there - you might just be surprised!