Bee Eater - Insect

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Spaztck, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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    I meant to post this when I first saw it, but completely forgot. I tried to take a picture, but the thing moved too fast. Three times watching my now lost hive, I saw this very large insect. It looked like a bee/wasp, but it was MUCH larger. It looked like it had orange on the bottom, but again it was much larger than any bee or wasp I have ever seen.

    It would fly around my hive when there was a lot of activity around, snatch up one of my bees in flight and fly off to a tree. It never landed on the hive. I am assuming it took the bee and ate it. This happened during the summer and each time when there was a lot of activity outside the hive. I did not see more than one at a time (if there was more than one).

    Does anyone know what insect this was? I live in NE, Ohio, USA.
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Sounds like a wasp. I can't say what species, but we have similar problems here.
    You can take a look at this link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CvyL2HEiWU
    Here the wasps bite off the bee's head and abdomen and feast on the thorax---rich in muscle protein.
     

  3. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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    Wow, thank you for that. The one I saw was bigger than the ones in the video and it would not grab any bees that were on the hive, only ones that were flying around the hive. It grabbed them in mid flight, but seemed to take it's time.

    I feel so stupid, because I should have switched my camera to video mode, instead of trying to take individual pictures.
     
  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Catching honeybees in flight is often called 'hawking'.

    One of the insects that does this is the Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina). This hornet was accidentally introduced into France a few years ago. It has spread to a wide part of France and Spain.

    UK beekeepers have been on high alert for this Non-Native species for several years ----- so far without any positive sightings. Looking at the size of the nests you would see plenty to worry you.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Something like this.

    It's a European hornet.





    [​IMG]
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    spaztck,
    i am curious about this, were you seeing a hummingbird hawk moth? i saw the you tube video ef posted, the hawk moth is a little larger than the oriental wasp of the video ef posted..... but i have never known hummingbird moths to attack honey bees, they are pretty gentle, although i have read they will steal honey from the bees. folks mistake them for at first for very small hummingbirds, but we have seen something around this year the same size as the hummingbird hawk moth, with a different color, and seems to appear mostly just before dusk, on the flowers, and work them until after dusk. but i have yet to see these near the bees?
    can you get a video maybe the next time?
     
  7. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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  8. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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    Wow, it is hard for me to tell, because I only saw it in flight. I never saw it still. If I see it again, I will video it. I can say it was definitely not a hummingbird hawk, it looked a lot more like a giant bee.
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I vote for the robber fly, I've seen them take bees here in midair and they are very large.
     
  10. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    I agree that it is probably a robber fly. I have them, too. When I get bored, I sit on the front porch with a BB rifle and shoot at them :twisted:.

    Yah, yah. I know there's a joke about North Carolina rednecks in there somewhere . . .
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    you are a better shot than I am. And my neighbors wouldn't appreciate my misses....lol
     
  12. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    That robber fly is one of those insects that I lump into the "dragon fly" category. I had one land of my Kubota RTV with a bee in its mouth. The only other insect I have seen eating bees is a wheel bug. They are considered beneficial insects as they mainly eat caterpillars and soft bodied insects. Some of our beeks speak of birds eating their bees, but I have never seen a bird eating my bees. It appears that bees are to insects as rabbits are to coyotes and other predators.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Those Texas insects must be huge. We don't have any problem with our insects eating rabbits. :)
     
  14. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    As per your observation, I made a change in the last sentence of my above post. No, our insects aren't that big, but I did see something yesterday that I have never witnessed before. While feeding I observed a scorpion under the inner cover. It ran down the side of the hive box, and I dispatched it with my hive tool. They are predators, but this is the first one I have ever seen inside a bee hive. My ranch is in rocky hill country. It is good scorpion habitat, we have an abundance of them.

    ​Thanks for the edit.
     
  15. Cupcakus

    Cupcakus New Member

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    I'm pretty sure that if I found a scorpion on the inner cover of my hives after lifting the top I'd need a new bee suit. I do have problems with spiders webbing up the sides of the boxes and the girls get all tangled up during inspections when they start walking around the outside of the boxes.
     
  16. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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    I caught one!!!!!!

    I hope this helps to identify it. I saw two of them today. I had some grapes there were still on the vine (bad) and they are grabbing wasps that were feeding on the grapes and also eating the grapes. I put a US quarter in the picture, so you could see how big this thing is. This one is a little smaller than the other one I saw today and a bit smaller than the one I saw over the summer.




    DSCI2051.jpg DSCI2053.jpg DSCI2055.jpg DSCI2057.jpg DSCI2058.jpg DSCI2059.jpg
     
  17. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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  18. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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    Here is the other one, I didn't catch.

    DSCI2067.jpg
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Reply # 5...
     
  20. Spaztck

    Spaztck Member

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