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Within the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a handful large yellow stinging insects flying around my hives harassing the bees. They're about the size of a quarter. Just yesterday I found a dead one right at the entrance of my hive like it had been trying to get in.

Can anyone identify this insect? And why is it bothering my bees?

http://a.imagehost.org/0391/bug.jpg
 

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That's definitely a hornet. I've had some similar insects flying into my hives; sometimes the guard bees will try to wrestle them out, but they usually just let them go in. I asked the local beekeeping guru about it, and he says it's nothing to worry about. (I still worry--I just don't do anything! ;) )
 

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Go by the name "Yellow Hornets" "European Hornets" . Their habits and interests with your bees are about the same as yellow jackets and Bald Faced hornets. Around here, the nests do not get to be large numbers like Bald Faced or yellows. If they become a problem,,,(my opinion is they can have a few bees as long as they don't start raiding and I don't think they do,,opportunists) you can put up an electric zapper if you have one,,, and a incandescent buld. They are very attracted to light and they will fly right into the zapper. I had them on my deck at night and I put a zapper by the porch light,,,,I could watchem from the door:D heh heh heh couple of nights they were done. I have also found it quite the sport to take a badminton racket;) and practice my returns.:Dheh heh heh Believe it or not,,,,their size and the sound of flight makes them very intimidating,,,,,but they are not that aggressive. If you miss the return,,,don't run,,,,keep swatting,,,,they are not like Baldies,,,,,that is a whole different animal.

Have fun:D

Rick SoMd
 

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They are principally carnivores. If you have had the experience where they have penetrated your hives and robbed pollen and honey,,,,I yield to your experience. I have not had that happen. They are like Bald Faced,,,they snatch a bee, kill it, and take it home.
Had a BF hornet snatch one of the girls yesterday,,,,she was coming in from the field and snagged her in mid air,,,,,,I yelled,,,,"S t e l l a" (cause that was her name) tore my shirt,,,,,,,,,,alas it was too late. Reminded me of King Kong when the pterodactyl snagged Fay Rae and took her to her nest to feed her to the young.
Wow,,,,did I write that out loud,,,,,sorry:D


Rick SoMd:D
 

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oh poor Stella! Rick, do you many shirts left? :D
 

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Hornet...I've seen them haul off a bee or two. They are carnivores. But they won't get enough to make a difference.
 

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I saw one snatch a bee outta mid air yesterday, and when it did, it was a little close to the lb. The covered it up and I found it later....dead....nature at it's best.
 

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I have some special "loose knits" that I use when I go into my STELLA routine.:D Since all my girls look pretty much alike,,,they are all named STELLA. I take my Meds regularly and seek counsel, I find comfort in a nice bourbon. I do not share with the girls as they are under age.;)

I am at peace :)
Rick SoMd
 
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