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bee eating hornets!

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Petewhite 

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I read in the paper last saturday that asian hornets were present in southern France and posed a threat to honey bees there. Last month (Aug) I noticed a pair of hornets hovering outside my hive near Southampton. They were catching and killing my bees before carrying them off to eat them on a nearby branch. Is this normal behaviour and have other beekeepers experienced this? I'm a novice and this was'nt a difficulty I expected!
 

victor meldrew 

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I read in the paper last saturday that asian hornets were present in southern France and posed a threat to honey bees there. Last month (Aug) I noticed a pair of hornets hovering outside my hive near Southampton. They were catching and killing my bees before carrying them off to eat them on a nearby branch. Is this normal behaviour and have other beekeepers experienced this? I'm a novice and this was'nt a difficulty I expected!
See this on the odd occasion over the years and I live up in Lancashire!

Jihn Wilkinson
 

admin 

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I am just a few miles from Southampton and had problems with Hornets last week.

I was suprised how docile they behaved around me.

Were the ones you noticedd bright orange?
 

Petewhite 

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Just the regular hornet colour we get around here. Completely ignored me.
 

peteinwilts 

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these pink headed and thorax versions are the ones that prey on my bees. I found one just a couple of days ago sat underneath the roof lip.
 

MJBee 

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Pete,
You probably have the European hornet which although a pain does not take all that many bees. They bite off the head and abdomen and either eat the thorax (high protein wing muscle) or take it back to the nest. It is possible to "bee line" them to their nest. On the plus side they do eat a lot of other insects including wasps:)
The Asian hornet is the same size but is black with one yellow band at the end of its abdomen and is totally silent in flight. This is the one that pheremone marks the colony and they come back mob handed and can destroy a colony in less than an hour.
A badminton racquet sorts out both varieties:)
:cheers2: Mike
 

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