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Author Topic: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?  (Read 1228 times)

Offline enchplant

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Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:41:57 PM »
I posted a video of scrub jays eating bees in my garden,

Scrub jays eating bees

 and several people responded about other birds that eat bees. As well as dragonflies. What other birds or insects eat bees and how many realistically are we talking about?

so we know about
1. Scrub jays
2. Swallows
3. Shrikes
What is the story with dragonflies? Do they eat bees what sort of dragonflies? what color?

Offline freshbulletbill

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 02:42:51 PM »
In Citrus County Fl. been seeing a lot of Summer Tanagers. They are the only entirely red bird in North America.  It specializes in eating bees and wasps.
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, sweet to thy taste:
Proverbs 24:13

Offline Nathen

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 03:14:41 PM »
Mockingbirds seem to love them.  I've watched them sit outside the entrance and pluck them out of the air as they are coming and going at a rate of about 1 per minute.  I don't know how much time in any given day they spend doing that.
-Nathen

Offline AllenF

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 04:39:01 PM »
All hornets, all wasps, yellow jackets. 

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 09:52:29 PM »
Had ants attack a hive last summer.  Started dragging the live bees off the hive!  Eek!

Offline Michael Bach

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 09:56:50 PM »
Dragonflys do eat bees.

I have this black and white spider that hangs out on the inner cover and eats bees.

Swollows,

Offline hendro

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 10:47:04 PM »
Saw a male and female Western Tananger camped out around my hives for a few days.  Also a red finch.  Littered the top of the hive with bee parts.  I don't mind losing a few bees to birds and predators every once and a while, that's just nature and why the queen keeps laying so many.  But if they camp out at my hive, the pellet gun is the only answer.  Lucky for the Tanager, that they moved on before I had to do something about them.

Offline brooklynbees

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 05:49:40 PM »
Mockingbirds in NYC. There's one that comes by at least once a week to jump around in front of the hive and snag a few bees before the alarm goes out.  When the troops fly out, he/she flies off.

Offline stella

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 12:46:54 AM »
I had a new bee eating bird this spring, of course, because its my first year with bees! It was a young male summer tanager, not ever seen by me in this area but a quick search proved they have been spotted here by local birders. I was ready to shoot him (shhhh, protective mother bee instincts) but my curiosity held me off. Then I read this was normal and wont harm a healthy hive. So I enjoyed his presence and still do...he even quit eating my bees and started eating the grape jelly!
Good dog!, Er, bird!
“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.” — Elizabeth Lawrence

Offline Picobrew

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 10:12:39 PM »
We've had a pretty generic bird house (a cub scout project by the son who just earned his Eagle) hanging empty for years.  I'm not sure how I feel about the great crested flycatchers nesting there now.  The box is about 50 feet from my new hives.

I've not seen any flycatching behavior around the hives.  I plan to relocate the nest box when the young ones fledge.  Or sooner, should I see that flycatching behavior!  :evil:
I think cayenne, I think cayenne.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Tell us what birds or insects have you seen eating bees?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 04:46:30 PM »
Haven't caught them in the act so far (eyesites not so good any more) but Bluebirds sure like hanging out near my hives and the flight patterns indicate consumption.

Over the years I have caught swallows, scarlet tangiers, flycatchers and the bigger dragonflys (AND BEARS, I know, not an insect or bird) greedily chowing down my bees. 

(I've got some brave chipmonks who like hanging around and under the hives, not sure what it is they're always eating, though I suspect its bits of wax and/or pollen and perhaps varroa???? that have fallen through the SBB etc).

thomas
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