It’s November 2018 and I deleted this original post from 2010. Here’s the deal with wasps (or yellow jackets as they’re sometimes called):
They start showing up around mid-August and can get pretty bad by September, but the peak of their badness can depend on a variety of factors. By bad I meant they’re attracted to the sweet smell of honey coming out of bee hives and will try to steal that honey any way they can. They’re also attracted to the sweet smell of syrup in external feeders such as Boardman feeders, so Boardman feeders aren’t such a great idea (they never were). The wasps will attack and kill honey bees, decapitate the bees, battle with the bees until they’re dead, eat the bees — all kinds of fun stuff.
A strong healthy colony can fend off wasps most of the time, so most of the time it’s not a huge concern. But if things start to get nasty, for beekeepers or the bees, the simplest solution is to reduce the hive entrances where the wasps are trying to get in, and then set up a wasp trap like this one.
Read more about this on my post, How To Kill Wasps. Wasps play their part in the natural wonder of the world and should be left to live in peace most of the time. Just not all the time.