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I found a hornet yesterday on top of one of my hives, should I be worried? I am concerned b/c I have lost 5 hives to the Giant Asian Hornet in Indonesia, but am stateside now, so obviously this hornet is smaller and not nearly as destructive. Do these smaller hornets eat bees?
 

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82 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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They will but nothing like the giant asian. These and yellow jackets will catch some bees and also scavenge the dead from the ground in front the hive. They can be a nuisance robbing later in the summer. Search the forum for trap ideas.
 

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We've got the large European Hornets that are just a small bit smaller than the asian hornets. I haven't lost a hive to them yet, but have watched as they grab bees coming in to land. We also see bald faced hornets and yellowjackets commonly around the hives. If the hive is strong, the hornets and yellowjackets end up dead as you found. The large European hornets are brutes and will push right by guard bees forcing the way in, only to emerge shortly after with mature larvae, purple-eye brood, or even live bees.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ornet-or-something-else&p=1324186#post1324186

For control, we use a 2-liter with a 1.5" hole near the top and a ring of overflow drain holes about half way down made with a small hot nail. The mix is for wax moth, but my traps get tons of those, all manner of hornets, wasps, moths, gnats, flys, SHB and more... and yet seldom ANY bees. Last fall the 2-liter was almost full to the drain holes solid with dead bugs!

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/waxmothtrap.html

I modify the mix a bit, using apple cider vinegar which draws in the SHB and hornets better. I also use a splash of some fruit juice also, for the smell and sugar content. I will top up to my drains with plain water, and always add a drop or two of dishsoap to ensure the bugs sink or they'll sit on the dead and eat them, then leave.
 

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If your colonies are strong, they can pretty well look after themselves. Here's a picture I took last year of the girls giving a Yellowjacket the bum's rush. They form a ball around the intruder and overheat it. You can just get a glimpse of the YJ here:

Insect Bee Honeybee Membrane-winged insect Pest

If you see a lot of them getting into the hives, you can add an entrance reducer so the entrance is easier to guard. Yellowjackets are generally beneficial to gardens, because their main food is caterpillars, spiders, or flies, so I usually live and let live.
 

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They get bad in the summer here. I would recommend the pheromone traps from your local garden store/home depot. Been catching hornet queens with them this year. Best of luck!
 
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