Battles at the Entrance

Yellow Jacket bites into honey bee abdomen

As fall approaches and forage becomes scarce, honey bees become more aggressive to protecting their honey crop. The honey crop is collected throughout the spring and summer. They use the stored honey throughout the winter to fuel their survival by beating their flight muscles to generate heat to warm the colony. The honey becomes very attractive to other insects this time of year; this is often when you see battles at the entrance. There is a video below to show the aftermath of one of these battles. There are also some other pictures of insect pests trying to get into the hives for honey below.

Honey Bee vs. Ant

Yellow Jacket approaching the hive entrance

Written By: Rob Snyder

Rob Snyder has written 63 post in this blog.

I currently work out of the Butte County Cooperative Extension in Oroville, CA as a Crop Protection Agent. I received my B.S. in biology from Delaware Valley College, PA. There I attained a majority of my entomological knowledge from Dr. Chris Tipping and Dr. Robert Berthold. After graduation, I was an apiary inspector for 2 years at the Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania. In my third year there, I still inspected some colonies but I mainly focused on The Pennsylvania Native Bee Survey (PANBS) where I pinned, labeled, entered data and identified native bees to genus species. Leo Donavall assisted me in learning the basics on positive Identifications of the native bees. Around the same time I began working on coordinating kit construction and distribution for the APHIS National Honey Bee Survey. I was also fortunate to conduct many of these surveys with fellow co-worker Mike Andree and Nathan Rice of USDA/ARS throughout California. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today, working to assist beekeepers in maintaining genetic diverse colonies resistant to parasites while reducing the use of chemical treatments in colonies. The BIP Diagnostic Lab at the University of MD is in an integral part of this process by generating reports in which we can track change and report to beekeepers vital information in a timely manner which may influence their treatment decisions.