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Author Topic: Wasps in orchard  (Read 3665 times)


  • Joined May 2016
Wasps in orchard
« on: August 01, 2021, 03:27:57 pm »
We have several fruit trees, apple, plum, cherry, pear in and orchard type area at the back of the garden. Each year the fruit (especially apples) seem to get destroyed by wasps. We clear the fallen ones from the floor most days but still get loads of wasps.

Iím not overly keen on pesticides but Iím
Not sure what else to try. Has anyone found anything that works to try and keep the wasps away?



  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Wasps in orchard
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2021, 04:30:39 pm »
By clearing away the fruits that have fallen and are no good to you, you are forcing the wasps to get onto the better fruits that are still on the tree.

By the time the wasps are eating fruit, the nest is no longer producing young, so you are not increasing wasp numbers by letting the adults eat fruit.  These adults are the workers who have reared this year's hatch, and will die once the sugary food sources give out.  So it's better to leave them some old fruit you can't use, or they will find fresher fruit to eat.

(The young wasps hatched during the year were fed insects by the worker wasps when they were larvae, then they pupate, hatch and mate.  The males die and the fertilised queens go into hibernation.  While feeding the larvae, the worker wasps were fed by eating the sugary waste the larvae produce from processing the insects' chitin.  Once the sexual brood has pupated, the old queen stops laying, so the workers' food source is not available any more and the worker wasps have to revert to eating nectar and any other sugar they can find.)

So your non-pesticide options for keeping wasps off your fruit are :

  • let the wasps have the windfalls and damaged fruits, and pick the good ones for yourself daily or twice daily. 
  • trap the wasps with sugary / jammy water in a jam jar, suspended from the branches, with holes in the lid just big enough for the wasps to crawl in.  Empty and refill every few days.  They are adult wasps who will die anyway once the food sources give up, so I s'pose it's not really that bad to trap and drown them :/
« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 05:43:22 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-home owners rule !
Re: Wasps in orchard
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2021, 05:10:42 pm »
While SiN was typing her advice/reply I was typing almost exactly the same advice.  Somehow my intended post got lost (but it would have been superfluous in the event !).
I would still add:  I'm not sure when pregnant females/future queens leave the nest to find a place to hold-up for the winter.  I'm going to check that out dreckly, but when the future queen/s have left a wasp nest it serves no residual annual purpose and might be destroyed without qualm to avoid a residual waspy-worker nuisance at the family picnic/BBQ.


  • Joined May 2016
Re: Wasps in orchard
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2021, 06:37:41 pm »
Thank you so much for the advice and tips. I hadnít studied the lifecycle of wasps so found your posts very interesting, thank you.


  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Wasps in orchard
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2021, 03:52:28 pm »
I had noticed a couple of bykes of wasps in the garden this year for the first time in about five years.

They stung my wife and dog so I was less than charitable and hit them with the dedicated foam.

I'm down to my last can, and a bit of checking online shows its twice the price it used to be.

£5.30 in wickes and £9.98 in screwfix for double the amount.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Wasps in orchard
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2021, 06:47:01 pm »
This is a massive problem here. The first year we caught 36 Asian Hornet queens and the same number of European. Wasps are a tiny issue. BUT the important point is to catch the queens, which must be done early. So we set traps made from water bottles containing 20cL each of the following mixture. 25cL strawberry syrup, 25cL beer, 30cL white wine. When we see the first flying about we set the traps. No more than 10 metres apart so we have 8 set. Cut a 2 cm triangle at the top of the bottle  and folds it up so they can get in but can't find their way out.

Trying to deal with the worker wasps is a wast of time. The key is to get then before the hives are active.


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