Sunday, April 11, 2010

Homemade Bee Traps.

Spring is here finally and the the bees are out buzzing around. However the case, those little pests can be annoying especially when having cook outs or maybe you're allergic to bee stings.

Why are bees important?  Bees are a very important part of our ecosystem. Remove one element and the system will need to make adjustments. The effect of that adjustment may often not be known until after it has happened. Now, with bees and honey bees, in particular we know that over one-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination services and we know that pollination is essential for the reproduction of the plants the bees service. The honey bee is a major pollinator of many of our food crops, almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all rely on honey bees for pollination.

Now that I've said that here's a good solution to that problem. I myself (Handyman Gene's wife) have tried this & it does work.
I came across these on the internet on how to make these out of 3 liter bottles. Cut the bottle a third of the way down and invert the top into the bottom. It looks like a funnel inside the bottle. Then punch hoes in the sides in which you will put wire to hang from a branch or crook. I used old pineapple juice in mine. I hope you can get the idea from the photo. Hope this helps. I think you could use the small personal sized water bottles too. You can use almost any sweet juice with a few drops of dish detergent like Dawn.
Try using a little bright (red?) food coloring in the water and soap mixture as: the color looks better in the yard,helps hide the dead bodies, and serves as an attractant.

I did use this method through out the summer under my open car port to keep the bumble bees away which were quite a lot and it worked like a charm. In 5 days I caught well over 50 bees....over a dozen the first afternoon after I hung the first one. They will fly around in there for a day or two but they will eventually drown in the nectar.

 Step by Step Instructions:

1. Take a plastic bottle and cut the neck off. (The neck is the cone part of the bottle including the cap.)

2. Flip the neck upside-down, removing the cap first, and place the neck into the bottle.

3. Tape and/or staple the top together with the bottom of the bottle. (I didn't have to do this part.  I just simply set it on top) Keep in mind that you will need to take them apart often to switch out the bait and remove dead wasps.

4. Bait your trap. It should not reach the opening of the bottle (The bees should have to completely enter the trap in order to access the bait). You can also do this before you attach the two pieces together.
Some bait ideas:

  • Meat - This is the best choice in the spring and late winter because wasps
  • are making nests and laying eggs, so they're searching for high protein
  • food; you may even catch a queen this way, in which case the bees will
  • relocate their nest.

  • Dish washing liquid and water

  • Mashed grapes 
  • Sugar and lemon juice

  • Sugar and water

  • Sugar and vinegar

* 1 tsp liquid Dish soap, 1 tsp sugar (to attract them), and water - if they
do get out, they will still die from the dish soap.

* soda (lemonade etc) that has lost it's fizz. This way it can still be of
use. Add a few drops of washing up liquid.

5.  Hang where ever the bees are a problem at.  I found it best to hang it where there is a over hang that way it does not get filled with rain water.