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birchdale 

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In the last few weeks my colonies in all my apiaries have been under attack. I do have wasp traps up that caught a few hornets, along with the wasps, earlier in the year. I haven't fed until dusk, also have good apiary hygiene.

The hornets circle the hive and then pick off a flying bee mid air, they then fly off with dead/protesting bee. It appears that their target are bees and not stores.
If the hornets life cycle is similar to wasps then the hornets should have no need for protein for their offspring at this time of the year?

I've never had such an attack in previous years. Anyone know what's going on?
 

MJBee 

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It looks as if the hornets have "Discovered" your hives and are exploiting an abundant source of food.

I have had both European and Asian hornet problems all season and have trapped hundreds of each. Thankfully it is easing off now and they will soon be gone.

My traps go out in March - any hornets and wasps caught up to mid May will be queens and another nest nipped in the bud:hurray:
 

birchdale 

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It looks as if the hornets have "Discovered" your hives and are exploiting an abundant source of food.
I hope that the Q's next year have a short memory!
My wasp/hornet traps have worked well but as they are 'sweet' bait and the hornets are not interested in them at the moment.
I hope the hornets haven't got much brood left to feed! :smash:
 

Storm™ 

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We have these in Cornwall. And despite the heavy rains and subsequent cold spell they have still been attacking the bees that have been feeding on the fusia bush outside the door. So I decided to do some research.

Turns out that we have the European Hornet where we live. And one thing that sets this hornet apart is that it hunts at night as well. I know have been attacked myself a few times whilst out smoking and looking at the stars. Last night one was eating the flies that congregated on the windows as they were attracted by the light.

Said on a previous thread that in the Amazon, they catch them. In a pond net. Carefully so as not to damage it. Then using very thin cotton about a meter or two in length, they tie one end round the abdomen so the hornet cannot get it off, and on the other end they tie a small bird feather. Then they let it go. It returns straight to the nest where the others bite through the cotton to help it. This then falls away. But the local people followed its slowed flight back to the nest following the darting white bird feather. They then destroy the nest. Very simple and clever.
 

birchdale 

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Storm, I like the Amazon idea. Not sure if I'm up to clambering around and about the posh gardens in Nth London though!!!!!
Hornets seem fewer but wasps still around.
 

lazybee 

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Hornets completely wiped me out. I have never seen so many. Even with entrance blocks in they would line up on the alighting board a take them or take them in the air. They entered the hives at night and carried on the attack.
These were well fed hives with plenty of stores. As they were making off with their plunder they would fly into the field next to my place and away. It took me a couple of hours to track them. I moved in an arc in the field to pick up the flight lines, it was harder as I got further away as the hornets were flying higher and faster. They were doubling back and following the tree line boundary between mine and my neighbours and re-entering my lower field about 300yrd down. There nest was in an old hollowed oak. It was huge. I bought two cans of hornet killer spray (available in France) and gave it to 'em. It was too late for the bees they had been tipped over the edge. Then the wax moth moved in. The strange thing is the hornet tree was next to a bee tree and they weren't touched.
 

MJBee 

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Lazybee,

Were they European or Asian hornets? From the tactics they sound like Asian. Well done for finding the nest.

Get your traps out by the end of February next year, any hornets caught between then and mid May will be queens and each one eliminated is a whole nest less:hurray:

Regards Mike
 

thurrock bees 

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they catch them. In a pond net. Carefully so as not to damage it. Then using very thin cotton about a meter or two in length, they tie one end round the abdomen so the hornet cannot get it off, and on the other end they tie a small bird feather..
Great idea, however i wouldnt like to get stung by one while tieing cotton around it :ack2:
 

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