How Yellow Jacket Wasps Affect Honey Bees

In a beehive, yellow jacket wasps eat honey and destroy honeycomb, kill adult bees, eat honey bee eggs and chew up honey bee brood to feed to their larvae. Beekeepers have reported yellow jackets even killing the queen bee in a honey bee colony. It is not clear if the yellow jackets can identify the queen or if they killed the queen bees randomly as if they were killing any other bee in the hive. The result of a yellow jacket invasion in a beehive is quick destruction of the honey bee colony. In a few hours, the entire honey bee colony can be left without brood and its honey reserve all destroyed or eaten up. After the invasion, most honey bee colonies abandon the beehive in search of a new place to rebuild the colony.

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