Found one the other day myself, crawling on the hive stand. Consensus on here is that they're getting their butt pinched off
when doing an inspection. I did not damage this bee, hadnt even opened a hive yet. This one i captured lived overnight in a jar.
I've seen this before but it usually starts in the summer and goes all the way through fall... It took me a while to figure out what it was but here in Northern California it turned out to be Yellow Jackets and Bald Face Hornets and I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. The Yellow jackets and hornets buzz around the landing board looking for the right moment and then they grab a bee sever the abdomen with their mouths, fly off with it and leave the head and thorax to walk around for a while until they die. We still have a couple months before that starts happening here but we just had some snow last week, are there many yellow jackets or hornets out in your area?
We didn't see much "outside" activity... No robbing, nothing really... Even though we had lots of exposed honey by the end of the day. Just one bumble bee was making her rounds and checking things out.
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