Honeydew, Aphids, and Yellow Jackets. A couple days ago I noticed hundreds of yellow jackets on the ground under a spruce tree. Oh boy, I thought, I finally found their nest. But I couldn’t find any sort of central gathering. Instead they were all over. Then I noticed they were also in the tree above, on the needles, and walking the branches. Then I saw the aphids and I remembered that honey bees sometimes collect the secretions of aphids which have been processed from the tree saps and sugars. Since there isn’t much protein in the sap, the aphids have to eat lots of it and they excrete the extra sugars. The resulting honey is referred to as honeydew honey. So, the yellow jackets were working in and around the tree collecting the honeydew and most likely picking off some of the aphids for their protein. This is a beneficial behavior of the yellow jackets so I left them to do their job. To read more about honeydew visit HoneyBeeSuite here: https://www.honeybeesuite.com/what-is-honeydew-honey/