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Predation on the western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., by the hornet, Vespa tropica (L.) Public Deposited

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  • Hornets of the genus Vespa are recognized as efficient and devas­tating predators of honey bees, especially in tropical and sub­tropical biomes. Of the four species of honey bees in the genus Apis only A. dorsata Fabr., the giant honey bee, appears free from attack by hornets (Seeley et al. 1982). De Jong (1978) reviewed the records of Vespa predation on A. mellifera and A. cerana Fabr. Matsurra and Sakagami (1973) provided a detailed description on V. man­darinia Smith attack behavior on A. mellifera in Japan. We observed the predation and ultimate destruction of a small A. mellifera colony by V. tropica (L.) on the Kamphaeng Saen campus of Kasetsart University, Nakorn Pathom, Thailand, during a four day period in December 1981. The honey bee colony consisted of four standard frames with a comb area of ca. 7,000 cm² in a hive body with a volume of 21 l. The colony entrance was restricted to an area of ca. 3.5 cm²• The colony possessed one comb approximately one-half full of capped honey, two empty combs, one comb with an active brood nest and an estimated 0.5 kg of worker bees which occupied two combs. The brood nest was infested with the parasitic brood mite Tropilaelaps clareae Delfinado and Baker.
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  • Burgett, M., & Akratanakul, P. (1982). Predation on the western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., by the hornet, Vespa tropica (L.) [Electronic version]. Psyche: a Journal of Entomology, 89, 347-350. doi:10.1155/1982/37970
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  • 89
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