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Discussion Starter #1
I pulled the rain collector off my Vantage Pro 2 this afternoon to see what became of a small YJ nest that was there during the summer. To my surprise, the tipping bucket area is full of dormant bees, in addition to a nest built under the collector cone that I knew about. I had several other YJ colonies on the property during the season, but I have the philosophy that if they don't bother me, I don't bother them. I had one nest is the tubular structure for my "solar clothes dryer" that was completely docile, I could stand a foot away and it didn't even phase them. I have enclosed a picture of that one.

Here is the question. Will these bees die off on their own over the winter, or should I do something now before they take over my weather station next summer? Here's another. Is it possible that all the colonies merged into one for the winter? The other two nests are vacant.
 

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:sorry1: If they were taking over my $$$ weather station, I consider that "bothering me".
 

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Administrator - We’re all friends here
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From what I have read, honey bees do go dormant over the Winter. They cluster together for warmth and remain inactive until warm weather returns. I don't know if they merge. I would think they are separate clusters and the empty nests you have were just abandoned at some point.

Your rain sensor can't be accurate with a nest in there.
 

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Always Learning
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You can actually raise them... I want a pet bee colony...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I may take of picture of this tomorrow. There is only one nest, the rest of the bees are huddled together on the base of the collector. So far, they're not interfering with the spoons. I assume this spot was attractive because it is warm during the day and sheltered from the weather. They are completely dormant and none of them moved when I took the collector off the base. To be clear, we're talking about yellow jackets, not honey bees.
 

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I may take of picture of this tomorrow. There is only one nest, the rest of the bees are huddled together on the base of the collector. So far, they're not interfering with the spoons. I assume this spot was attractive because it is warm during the day and sheltered from the weather. They are completely dormant and none of them moved when I took the collector off the base. To be clear, we're talking about yellow jackets, not honey bees.
a little gas goes a long way in killing the nest. That also works at night in the summer. Or during the day when you disturb them.
 

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Retired Super Moderator - Deceased September 2015
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I wouldn't take a chance with Yellow Jackets. Killem all or they will get you sometime next year!:thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took these pictures this morning. The temperature was about 40* so they are completely docile. The first photo shows them in the base of the collector. It is just a mass of bees with no nest. The second photo shows the nest under the collector which I knew was there. They too are completely docile. The main question I have is where did the bees in the first picture come from?
 

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Always Learning
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If you don't have Raid on hand, PB blaster, or WD-40 work a little too well ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's my understanding too. I was surprised to see them all congregated in one place. One nest (in my first photo) is empty, and another that I knew of fell down in October- they didn't secure it very well. I wonder if they are part of that colony. I think I'll take another look on a cold day and see what they're up to. Once they're gone, I'll seal up the unnecessary holes on the base, but this is the first time I had an insect issue and I've had the WS since 2004.
 

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OMG I got another LawnBoy
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There dormant or dead.........Throw them on the ground and step on them......Then close all little holes around the pipe and forget about them until you see more next spring.......John..........:thThumbsU :thThumbsU :thThumbsU :trink39:
 

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Yellow Jackets are wasps, not bees. If you or someone else is allergic, they can be bad news.

I've got the big red wasps and a couple of other varieties.
 
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