thebeesknees's picture

Wasp dismembering Honey bees

I have never experienced this before, but is it normal for wasps to attack and dismember Honey bees? For at least ten years there has bee a Honey bee nest at the top of this old building where i work. I always see the bees flying about and landing on the tarmac. I was standing in the car park with a collegue when we noticed a Wasp attacking two individual bees on the ground. Flying from one to the other. The bees were still moving (only just) but the Wasp started to bite off body parts. I was taken aback by this behaviour. What was the Wasp doing and why?

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DavidHowdon's picture

Wasps

They are predators so what they were doing was killing their prey, removing the wings (which are probably not that nutritious) in order to take away they energy rich bodies to consume them (or feed them to larvae).

thebeesknees's picture

Thank you David

Thank you for clearing that up for me. I have certainly learn't something new. Much appreciated.

thebeesknees

Amadan's picture

I've seen them doing the same

With butterflies. The first time was a shock, as I had been watching a Peacock on a Buddleja. It flew off, and suddenly dropped out of the air - only when it hit the ground could I see the wasp that had captured it. The wings were despatched within a few seconds, and the wasp flew off with its prey.