• How to: Meat Bee Trap

    by  • August 4, 2010 • How to, Wildlife

    How to get rid of meat eating yellowjackets

    Some folks can live and let live in the garden, but meat bees push my limits! A friend told me about this simple way to make a trap for pesky meat bees (or yellow jackets) that can keep them from getting between you and that bite of juicy hamburger next time you BBQ.

    Timing is everything

    Set out your traps at the first sign of meat bees. every one you see in March is a queen.  For every queen eradicated, there will be 5000 less workers in August!

    Roll up a slice of  sliced ham or turkey and thread it on a skewer.   Fill an old plastic bowl with water and pour vegetable oil over the surface of the water. (Use an old bowl because it will get yucky after the season and you’ll most likely want to toss it out.)

    Meat bee trap

    Meat bee trap

    Set the skewer on the bowl and adjust the water so it is about a 1/4 inch below the meat. The meat should not touch the water because the bees can then climb out.

    Why it works:

    The bees dip down after lunch to drink the water and Zap! They get caught by the oil. I’m so mean.

    Meat bee trap filled with dead yellowjackets

    Meat bee trap filled with dead yellowjackets

    After 2 1/2 hours this is what my first trap of the season looks like. The next few traps catch fewer bees because you are hopefully cutting down your yellow jacket population.

    If you have a way of dealing with meat bees, I’d love to know!

    No, these are not honey bees

    No, this doesn’t attract honey bees

    About yellowjackets:

    Yellowjacket are nest building or ground dwelling insects that we often call wasps.

    Yellowjacket or Meat bee nest

    Yellowjacket or Meat bee nest

    This nest was found on our property beyond the garden.  It had been dug up by some brave animal during the night. A brave one, or a sorrier one now!

     

    Yellowjackets differ from paper wasps as these build nests shown below.

        Paper wasp and nest, most commonly found under the eaves of your house

    Paper wasp and nest, most commonly found under the eaves of your house

    Yellowjackets, shown below, are attracted to meat and love to attend your bbqs, sometimes hovering maddeningly between your mouth and your bite!  Some places have so many that eating outdoors is simply impossible.

    Yellowjacket or 'meat bee'

    Yellowjacket or ‘meat bee’

    The difference:

    The difference between wasps, honey bees and yellowjackets

    The difference between wasps, honey bees and yellowjacketsA reader tries it out:

    Kirk Willis  The trap has only been outside for 20 minutes and look at the results

    Kirk Willis The trap has only been outside for 20 minutes and look at the results

     

    Kirk Willis Not even 2 hours later! Ewwwwww

    Kirk Willis Not even 2 hours later! Ewwwwww

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.