Eighty percent of our hives have been wiped out by this amazing deadly hornet. Ok, why isn't this creature talked about as a hive pest. It only taking a couple of hours for this creature to kill off a hive.
Are you sure it's the Japanese Hornet? We have a European Hornet here that is very similar but not quite as big. They are known pests to hives here but i've not seen them decimate a hive as of yet. As well yellow Jackets and bald faced hornets. Do you happen to have a PIC you could post of the offending Hornets?
It was unbeliveable almost like in a Sci-Fi movie. The hornet would fly around the entrance and pick of guards right and left. The bees were falling off the hive as we we watched. When we opened a 2 deep hive last week, frames full of capped fall honey, pollen and a seemingly happy queen that had plenty of egg laying and thousands of workers. A content hive but I did notice 1 European hornet flying around the hives. Not all of our hives had reducers on them and we were still feeding sugar water.
Yesterday hive check was totally different then last week. Few bees flying around, few guards at front of box and hundreds of dead bees on concrete pad where hives were. More shocking was hornets everywhere when we opened hive that was doing great last week. We found the headless queen and lots of dead bees in the hive.
It was not just this hive but 12 of 23 of our hives within days. We put out sticky mouse traps and the pads were full within 5 minutes.
I had trouble with these guys earlier this year. They were pestering my hives and I found some dead ones in the hives. I spent a couple hours and lined out the nest and destroyed it. I hated to do it as they are actually beneficial but the nest was attached to the back of my house and Sweet Wife is highly allergic. I wasn't aware they could totally overwhelm a beehive.
After researching on line we found that sticky traps are a good way to catch them. We started by catching or trying to get one hornet to land on the sticky trap. Apparently, others will investigate the sister hornet that is releasing pheromones or some type of distress signal and more will get attached. I also put some in the entrance of the hive that they started to attack and when the hornet came out she was caught. No, not many honey bees were caught because the hornets had already killed thousands of bees. The size of these hornets on average was about 1.5 inches long with a diameter of about 3/8 of inch. We also put on reducers and in two days are looking better. If you see this invasive species you better get on them quickly. By the way we originally called them Japanese hornets because that is one of our neighbors called them. they are European Hornets. Also check this site out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63UkfbHc928.
To get hornets on the sticky pads we also used long needle nose pliers or step on them when they came for the bodies of the hurt or dying bees. Since yesterday we have killed over hundred and fifty hornets but before we realized what was happening the hornets killed thousands of honey bees at our hives.
To also combat the problem we have moved single deep hives (that used to be double deep full of capped brood, honey, pollen) to other locations on the farm so other hornets from the nest cannot key in on bee locations as easily.
Since July, I have caught 45 to 50 (still have one still out) European Hornets (also locally called Japanese Hornets) in my wax moth traps.
After a neighbor had a severe wax moth infestation in a dead colony, I put out six traps. They worked like a charm. I also caught plenty of wax moths, yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, wasps of all types, and even green flies. At one point there were 23 European hornets in one trap.
I used the homemade traps made with a banana peel, 1c apple cider vinegar, 1c sugar, and 2c water in a plastic bottle or jug with a hole cut in the side. If you can, use the type of apple cider vinegar with the mother as the filtered ACV didn't work as well. Also the entry hole needs to smaller than sometimes recommended for these traps - about 1". I had to reduce some of the holes with tape as the European Hornets were flying back out the larger holes.
Hopes this helps in the future. So sorry about your losses.
On youtube I saw a vid about using the hornet net that allows the bees
to get through but not the larger hornets. At least this is another way to
keep them away from your hives. I would set up a net around the perimeter
of my hives. Luckily we're not in the Japanese (Asian) hornet invasion territory yet. They are all
over Europe and Asian now.
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