Thursday, 2 September 2010

Bee v Wasp

Watching the hives so closely i've noticed that wasps are often hanging about. I've seen quite a few go into the hives - they are trying to rob the honey. This is when guard bees of the colony will challenge the wasp, and the wasp will either fly off or they will fight with each other. The fight may end in the death of one or both of them.

Here I saw a wasp and a bee having a fight just outside the entrance to the hive - the wasp was the winner in this case - the bee hardly visible in the photos.

I've also watched wasps clear up any dead bees from the ground around the hives. I used to gather any dead bees in early summer for my collection, but noticed there weren't so many in the last month or two. I then observed wasps picking up dead bee parts and flying off with them. As much as the thought of wasps eating bees isn't a great one, at least they are keeping the area around the hives clean of carcasses.

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