[NAFEX] No Yellow Jackets???

Hal Love lovehd at comcast.net
Fri Aug 15 13:41:45 EDT 2008

Donna, I was over in the Cookeville area several times last year following
the freeze, and while there was clearly a major impact there, it was very
obvious that the freeze was not nearly as devastating as here just nw of
Nashville. Spring usually arrives a couple of weeks later there than here,
so that probably made a big difference. We also only had one single
significant rain last year from the first of March through the middle of of
October. Maybe there is a threshold at which populations completely crash,
that we crossed?

Just for clarification, we don't have the paper wasp "yellow jackets" here,
just the ground nesting types that are locally called "meat bees". Not only
have I not seen or smelled any skunks this year, but there is no sign of
digging in my yard or around my pasture where there have been many nests in
previous years. The bird populations also seem to be markedly reduced. They
normally get most of my blueberries, but this year I had almost no losses to
birds at all. However, turkeys and deer are still abundant. The deer
probably survived because they ate everything that I watered last year!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donna &/or Kieran" <holycow at cookeville.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] No Yellow Jackets???

> We had no fruit due to late freeze last year plus terrible drought, and
> saw 3 yellow jackets the whole summer, but this year they are making up
> it.  The thing is that if there's no competition, a single hive will make
> more queens for the next year, so bottlenecks in the population are
> generally shortlived.  We had only a very few wasps survive the freeze
> year, but those few nests had huge numbers of young queens by the end of
> summer.  Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw.  Hal may just have had
> some skunks move into his neighborhood this year.    Donna
> _______________________________________________

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