I am keeping two hives of Italian honey Bees, with everything going real well. I mainly have the bees for pollination in my rather large berry patch. The bees are in their first summer, the berry patch is in it's second.
About 3 weeks ago, the bees started pollinating the fall crop of Red Raspberries. Really working it good. There were also some wild Bumble and Carpenter(I think) bees working too. About 2 weeks ago I noticed 2 Bald Face Hornets. I'm not a big fan of hornets, but I don't like to just randomly kill things. There's usually a yin and a yang to most of God's creatures. So I just left them alone. But as the number of BF Hornets has increased(25-30 at a time now), the honey bees and other bees have disappeared, with much of the raspberries still blooming. So my question is, " Do BF hornets eat Honey bees, either mistaking them for a fly, or just as a matter of that's what they do .
From the "Die bad bees die" thread, I followed a very interesting link left by Evindm to a page that said this... "Bald-Faced-Hornets take mostly live prey; they prefer to feed on flies and other insects." So I got to thinking, if they love flies, maybe they love bees too. I can't think of another reason 30-40 honey bees would just up and leave a very rich and very unfinished source of pollen and nectar.
So I thought I'd ask here to be sure. If my suspicions are true, I will have to get rid of them. I vaguely remember someone posting a picture of a wasp trap, with some lure in it that they would be drawn to, but not bees. I'd greatly appreciate it if someone would re-post that for me.
OTOH, in May/June and part of July, deer flies are absolutley horrible here. And I don't want to needlessly kill off an insect that would drastically cut down the deer fly population.
BTW, just checked both hives today and they are both doing great. Their numbers are still very high. It's not an over all drop in the amount of bees from a swarm or other calamity.
Thanks for any help.