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Today I was watching some hives. There seems to always be the few yellow jackets hanging around testing the entrances.

I then saw at one hive two rather large yellow jackets seemingly being greeted by three honey bee guards. They were touching and communicating with each other. The yellow jackets never went in the entrance but continued to walk around, and the honey bees did the same.

Usually the honey bees after realizing that a yellow jacket is on the landing board, kicks them off. I have never seen honey bees and yellow jackets walking around completely at peace with each other as I did today.

I keep trying to rationalize the situation for an explanation, but nothing comes to mind.
 

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My guess is the nest has succumbed to the cold and those were leftovers just waiting to die. The new queens have mated and are looking for a place to spend the winter. The workers are now "lame ducks." The bees know they are not there to fight.

Just a guess, mind you, I don't know nuffin' for sure.
 
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