Purchase 1" or 2" foam insulation from Lowes, or building supply. (1"= -20°F with Warmbees, 2"= -50°F with Warmbees) Cut to dimensions that tightly encase your hive or hives. Use Straps or rope to hold in place snugly to hive. Adding insulation in extreme cold environments drastically reduces heat loss! It is not enough with typical 3/4" hive construction to simply shelter from wind. Tar paper has negligible insulation value. Loose fitting insulation allowing convection to carry away heat, is ineffective. See KnowledgeBase!
YellowJacket Nests are typically found in the ground or in a log. To destroy a complete YellowJacket Nest, if found, have ready the pump sprayer with Dawn Dish Soap. Wait until after dark when all are in the nest and not active! Purchase a Gopher Smoke Bomb from your local Lowes, Home Depot, or Farm or Garden Supply. Carefully place smoke bomb in entrance of nest, ignite, and plug the hole with rag or dirt or something. Let it finish and wait for 5 minutes. Not recommended for nests in combustible materials! After smoke bomb, open nest and squirt remaining barely-live wasps and nest with heavy Dawn Dish Soap water (Extra Soapy). Physically smash combs. No stings! Yea! No more predation from that nest! Can be done without the smoke, but its much more fun!
Companion Add-On heating element that can be connected to the Warmbees In-Hive Warmer to double the capacity and distribution of heat for Extreme Cold environments below zero. Place roughly 3 frames between Warmer and Add-on in lower box.
IN-HIVE WARMERS, PRODUCTS, AND KNOWLEDGE
Replacement 24W Power Supply for Warmbees In-Hive Warmers. Keep "HIGH AND DRY". Always use GFI protection with outside electrical cords for your safety! Water on any exposed electrical conductor causes electrolysis and corrodes in minutes!
When trying to make queens, construct some queen-cell cages by cutting some heavy gauge screen into squares or rounds and pressing them into a small cup-cake tin. Trim to even edge. Press into comb on top of capped queen-cells. Prevents escape and protects from other hatching queens. I've harvested as many as 12 from a single frame of queen cells.
The Warmbees In-Hive Warmer is a critically controlled and protected, mild warmer - specifically designed to go in the living space of a beehive to help maintain dormant or brooding temperatures during winter months. Often pays for itself in single season!
Purchase Terro Ant Killer, and Hot Shot Roach Killer from Lowes, Home Depot, or other garden supplier. These are both slow acting poisons. You can drip Terro across the top of a hive under attack. Yellowjackets are also attracted to Terro, but bees are not. They consume it and then return to their nest and feed it to others! You can also mix Hot Shot Roach powder with powdered sugar and place a small quantity on or near a hive that is under attack. Wasps and Yellowjackets also take the bait and return to their nests. Over a short time, the predation will slow or stop! BATTLE WON! Bees are not generally attracted to either bait. I kill any bee that stops to consume either bait. These work with ants too! Most effective in spring when all yellowjackets are basically queens.
A substitute for Terro is to slightly thin a Cup of Karo Syrup with water, add a Tsp of Hot Shot (Borax) and perhaps a tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE YELLOWJACKET PREDATION!
Yellowjackets can take out a very strong hive in as little as 3 weeks or less! This happened to me. Purchase small 1.5L pump sprayer from Lowes or garden supplier. Add 1/4 Cup Dawn Dish Soap and fill with water. This kills all soft-bodied insects fast! Shoot unwanted predators, watch die, repeat! Works on ants as well. Find nearby nests and soak liberally - repeat days later if necessary. I try to spend 15 minutes per day and squirt them when they slow down while foraging for bees on the ground. I count kills and note the number in 15 minutes. I average between 15 and 20 per day. This is a moderate level of attack. Left un-checked, they eventually begin entering the hives directly and carry out bee parts and honey! If YJ are seen entering your hives, you have a lethal case of predation! Close down the entrances to 2 bees wide, and step up your efforts! See next Tip!
Spring and Fall are particularly devastating because YJ can fly all the way down to freezing, when bees must pull inside to ball up and stay warm! NO GUARDS = NO DEFENSE! = MASSACRE! Once the wasps learn this source and acquire the learned behavior of directly entering the hive, they are no longer opportunistic hunters but primary predators! In my case the hand-full of Queen yellow jackets that came back in the spring, immediately were entering the hives. Once I killed them with the above Tip #1, I had no further YJ pressure the rest of the summer until September, when the cycle begins again when they are looking for meat. See next tip 2 below-left for additional methods!