After attending this years National Bee Unit, Southern Regional Bee Disease Identification Day at Benson, I have invested in a microscope which I have been able to put to immediate use in identifying my assailants!
Meet Vespula Germanica! (the German Wasp) a member of the 'social wasp' family. These blighters generally do a fantastic job of predating on pests around the garden and allotment. However, at this time of the year, the nest breaks up, and they search for food to stock up for the winter, and new homes!
Honey, and bees, are high on their list of scrummy treats!
There is little that can be done about their sustained attacks, and the key would be to find and destroy their nest........not very ethical! As ground nesting wasps, their home could be almost anywhere in a 400 metre radius of the plot. We have a rubble pile at the back of the apiary, and my money's on that being the site! However, the jam traps seem to be working, and we will be better informed next year!
If all else fails: machine gun nests with interlocking arcs of fire may be employed! lol!