Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bee Inspection

We split our hives on May 1st.   A couple weeks later, Lily and I went in to make sure that there were queen cells in the lang.

We did find some - here's the pic.

Just in case something goofy was going on, we put another frame of larvae and eggs in that hive from the hive with the queen.  That way, if the bees don't like how things are going with the current queen cells, they have fresh material to build new ones with.

In other news, at the bottom of that hive, I found this thing.   I had seen it trying to get into the hive a few days prior and commented on the sheer enormity of it.  That's one of my bees to the left of it.

It's enormous.  E.Normous.

Huge.  Gigantic.  Colossal.

Really big.

And really dead.   It got into the hive and the bees took care of it.    And while Lily and I were marveling over it, another one came around to investigate the open hive.

I killed it and as it died, it tried to use it's stinger to get me [actually the hive tool I was using to kill it it with].   Holy cow!  The stinger is long and flexible, so don't pick a fight with these.

The good news is that they are Giant European Hornets, Vespa crabro, brought over in the late 19th century.  They are not the hornets of the papery bag nests that hang in trees, those are the little black Bald-faced Hornets, which are really wasps.   These are the true hornets.  A lot less common and a lot less mean.  

Not something I'd like to meet in a dark alley, but maybe as a bouncer in a nicer nightclub.  


  1. WOW that sucker is big! Glad to see that your split went well...My package of Russians are going like crazy...happy beek here!

  2. Yeah, I had a bunch of bald faced hornets and yellow jackets in one of my hives last year. The hive tool sure came in handy to dispatch them!

  3. You are so funny....but yowzer! that is one big honkin' hornet!


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