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This morning i "found" my copy of Jay Smith's "Better Queens". I had misplaced it in my flawed filing system several months ago.

I read his recollections as a child when his dad was keeping honeybees. It seemed a King Bird was eating honeybees, so his dad shot him with a 22 Smith and Wesson.

Then I recollected how during the past summer a very suspicious wren was always hanging around the front of the hives. I didn't actually see the wren snatch a bee, but I figure he is guilty unless proven innocent.

What other birds are honeybee murderers?:rolleyes:
 

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Eastern Kingbirds with the yellow breast, western kingbirds with the white breast, I have both and don't raise queens so don't worry much about them. A colony of purple mountains will eat some bees. Those are all I have seen working my yards.
 

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There are several birds that will eat bees. I have the most problems with mocking birds. I have never killed any, but, I know they catch a lot of bees. Cat birds are also a problem occasionally.

If your bees are in an area that has dragonflies, they are more problems than birds.

cchoganjr
 

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There are several birds that will eat bees. I have the most problems with mocking birds. I have never killed any, but, I know they catch a lot of bees. Cat birds are also a problem occasionally.

If your bees are in an area that has dragonflies, they are more problems than birds.

cchoganjr


In my area I pretty much make it a point to dispatch all mourning Dove, white winged dove, band tailed pigeon, ducks, geese, Valley quail and turkeys around my yard. I like to be proactive....
 

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One day I watched from my window as two small birds took turns perching on a fence post in ten feet front of one hive and snatching bees from the air as the bees came and went. They had an 'on deck' perch for the next one waiting their turn. They were out of pellet gun range and the hive was booming, so I just took in the show. I never did figure out what species of bird they were.

My property backs up to a swamp so I also have a substantial dragonfly population. The bees just have to deal with it. I'd need a shotgun to try and hit those things!
 

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Summer Tanager terrorized my hives last year for a few days. He's fly in, grabs one, flys to a bench and rubs the stinger off. Found +30 stingers on that bench. I was able to "scare" him off after that.
The worst offenders are the European hornets. When I seen them hovering in front of the hives I swat them out of the air with my ball cap and stomp them, got about 20 last year.
 

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What other birds are honeybee murderers?:rolleyes:
I have seen dragonflys going after drones. I don't know anyone who could pick one out of the air w/ a 22. That would be something. In SC they are big enuf to be mistaken for a bird.
 

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Look up pictures of Summer Tanager. It is one of the most beautiful birds you will see. It is also a voracious bee eater.
 

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Wheel bugs and dragon flies are the only things that I have ever seen eat bees, and I didn't think they would eat enough bees to be harmful to the health of the hive. Some posters have stated that turkeys ate bees at the hive entrance, but there are lots of wild turkey around my apiaries, and I have never seen one eating my bees.
 

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Robber flies have been my worst problem, although I do have some dragonflies around, and I have occasionally seen a mockingbird waiting on the fence near the hives. The advantage to being organic is the wide selection of food for dragonflies and mockingbirds. the dragonflies fly patterns over newly mown grass at dusk, crisscrossing the field, pretty cool to watch. Mockingbirds have a feast of all kinds and I encourage them in the garden. Robber fly I have seen snatch bees
 

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I did not describe it, and I have not photographed it yet, but, mockingbirds will sit on the bottom board and catch the bees as they land. They then fly off, and in just a few minutes they are back. At the time I thought they were feeding young. Later in the year they will clean the area below the bottom board of any dead bees. Last week I saw a mocking bee getting dead bees that had been pushed out of the hive during a two day warm spell, and I thought, they are still here.

cchoganjr
 

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Fusion took your recommendation and looked up Summer Tanger's

"Summer Tanagers hang out high up in the tree canopy, but even with their bright colors, they are hard to see in the foliage. They have a song that sounds like an American Robin’s, very musical and cheery. Male are the ones that usually sing, but the females will sing an answer to the males when on their breeding grounds. They are excellent flycatchers, flying out to catch insects on the wing. They especially like bees and wasps, and may hang out around bee hives." summer-tanager-feeding-2.jpg
 

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Cleo

You must have more mockingbirds than I do. I've seen them on the fence above the hive, but never on the bottom board, and the dead bees, they are still out there today.

But my local mockingbirds hold an aerial battle and only one male is allowed to nest here, usually in my pine tree
 

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I never considered birds as a problem before reading this post. I am making bird houses and butterfly houses to decorate my bee yard. Are the bird houses going to be a problem?
 

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Birds aren't usually much of a problem. They are integral in the Natural Selection Process.
 
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