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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While relaxing in a lawn chair and watching my hives yesterday afternoon, I noticed two Carpenter Bees swooping back and forth in front of one hive. It appeared that they were attempting to snatch a honey bee out of the air. Then, one of the CBs landed in the entrance of the hive for a moment and grabbed a honey bee and took off!

The honey bees did not alarm while the CB was on the entrance. The second CB noticed the first with the captured honey bee and tried to take it away. Both fell on the ground where I squashed them, including the honey bee -- so I know that I was not seeing things.

I can not find where this behavior has been noted in the literature. It was certainly clear that the CBs were hunting. The fact that Bald Faced Wasps hunt for honey bees is well known, but the CBs was news to me. So, beware: Keep an old badminton racket near your hive to wack these nassty preditors.


JSM
 

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More then likely the carpenter bee was just defending it's territory. I actually like the carpenter bees and love seeing them during Spring. The males are the ones you will see swooping in and chasing other bees out of thier areas. They will even chase small pebbles thrown into the air. The males are harmless and are only looking for a mate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I respectfullydon't agree. If the CBs were simply defending their territory, I don't think it would land ont the hive entrance and snatch a honey bee. Either way, it is clear that they will go after honey bees.

Sorry again, I don't share your enthusiasm for CBs. They drill holes everywhere and are very destructive here in Georgia. Maybe you have a "kinder gentler" breed in PA -- but here I wack all I can.

JSM
 

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I have CBs all around my deck, hitting the glass door, swooping and even hitting me. I stopped to talk to a little girl and her father on the the other side of the house in the driveway and they were dive bombing them there, too. They're drilling holes in my deck. I saw one down around the hive yesterday but I didn't see any errant behavior. I'm eventually going to plug up the holes in my deck and I hope they get the message.
 

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sorry, plugging the holes will only encourage more holes. be aware they can cause terminal structural damaged if unchecked. good luck,mike
 
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