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Thread: Giant Hornets

  1. #1
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    I'm watching National Geographic, and it was just showing a wasp which they called the "giant hornet". They discribed its predation on beehives: It starts off decapitating the workers at the hive entrance. It is immune to their stings. "Before long, no honeybees remain alive." It then enters the hive to gorge on the honey. Afterwards, it starts stealing the HB's brood to feed to its own.

    Googling, I found one species, the Asian or Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia Smith, 1852) carries this reputation and is reputed to be a great hassle to Japanese Beeks. The European Giant Hornet (Vespa crabro) was first reported in the U.S. in 1840 New York. In my breif look, I didn't see that it carries the same report with Beeks as the Japanese one does, and I didn't see a report that the Japanese one lives in the U.S...

    Anyone with more knowledge on the insect(s)? I would dig deeper myself, but haven't come across it in local beekeeping yet.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
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    HORNETS FROM HELL
    Broadband:
    http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/magazine...movie_mp_b.cfm

    Terry

  3. #3
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    I watched that video and had nightmares.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  4. #4
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    Anyone who keeps bees will definitely need therapy after watching it.

    But what this clip doesn't show that the National Geographic special does is the native Japanese honeybees have developed a rather ingenious defense mechanism.

    When a giant hornet scout approaches the honeybee hive, they wait until the scout is through the entrance then they almost instantly surround the scout with a baseball size cluster and start raising the temperature until the scout is roasted alive. Apparently the temperature required to kill the scout is only about 2-3 degrees less than what's needed to kill the honeybees

    Fascinating stuff.

  5. #5
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    i thought balling the hornet was amazing!!!! I still shake my head in wonder.

  6. #6
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    The video is amazing. Japanese hornets are not found in the U.S., and even the European hornet (Vespa crabro) isn't widespread in the U.S. Beekeepers wouldn't be put out of business by these insects, anyway. These attacks are on individual hives. Think of the damage a bear can do to a hive, yet many people still keep bees even in areas with high bear populations.

  7. #7
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    here's some new studies on how the bee's kill the hornet with heat called balling.....

    http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20050924/fob5.asp
    Ted

  8. #8
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    I think that there's some truth to the saying that "if you're for bees, then you're against wasps."

  9. #9
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    I'm worried now...I saw one of these hornets dead last spring. It was huge. I think I'll probably have nightmares too.

  10. #10
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    Upon further investigation...it might have been a bald faced hornet. I don't think they are as dangerous

  11. #11
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    Feb 2006
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    Ellenboro N.C.
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    Well if they come here ill sit out in the bee yard with my shotgun and knock them down when they try to get one of my hives.
    If your gettin stung your doing something wrong...

  12. #12
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    Wouldn't an entrance reducer be a simple solution? They weren't after the adults, just the brood.

  13. #13

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    The science news article mentioned that European honeybees in Asia have the genetic trait of balling wasp invaders and cooking them, so this behavior might be breed into our honeybees before the inevitable happens.
    The range of Vespa mandarinia covers Nepal and northern India, so there is considerable overlap with European honeybees, hence there ought to be quite a bit of genetic diversity containing the balling response genes.

  14. #14
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    I watched that video and had nightmares.
    You weren't the only one, George. Couldn't believe from that video how fast they can knock out a hive, and those poor girls....I guess our shotgun might get pulled out too if I see a wasp like that!!
    Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by...

  15. #15
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    >Wouldn't an entrance reducer be a simple solution?

    Good idee Iddee. Perhaps some 1/4" mesh. Heck, they're big enough, 1/2" screen would probably keep them out and the bees could fly right through it.

    >I guess our shotgun might get pulled out too if I see a wasp like that!!

    Rat-shot in a .22 pistol would be both sporting, and fun.. not to mention doing a lot less damage to the surrounding area, making a lot less noise, and costing a lot less [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

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