Predatory activity near my honeybee hives

Asked September 16, 2019, 10:52 PM EDT

I've noticed a hovering bee like insect near my hives. This evening I watched to see what it wanted. It hovers around the hive entrances, seemingly trying to catch in bound bees. However it was successful capturing a returning bee landing on the stone below the entrance vs returners on the board entry to the hive. After absconding with my lady, it did not return, at least while I was watching for 30 mins. This predator has been hovering around the hives for 4 days now. People have suggested a European paper wasp. Regardless, should I be worried for my honeybees about this new predator in their garden? Thank you Teri Mascuch

Baltimore County Maryland wasps beneficial insects and pollinators predation of honey bee

1 Response

It certainly sounds like a predatory wasp. They are considered beneficial as they help control insect pests, but people are often horrified when they grab a butterfly or honeybee. See more about them here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/predatory-wasps
How large was the predator?
We wonder if it may have been a European hornet that grabbed your lady.
They are substantially large though.
See them here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/european-hornets


Christine