Honey bees will actively defend their hive, and with so much honey inside, bee colonies attract interest from a wide variety of animals, including badgers and during the winter, green woodpeckers, who are able to drill a hole in the side of the wooden hive and feast on honey and bees. We cover our hives with wire netting in the winter to deter ‘peckers’
In late summer, marauding wasps are the biggest enemy, and pitch battles can often be observed on the hive landing board. This video clip shows guard bees ejecting an intruding wasp from the hive.
The bee colony always has dedicated guard bees on duty. When the hive is threatened, the guard bees release a pheromone scent which alerts other workers, so that reinforcements can quickly arrive on the scene.
Our honeybees defending their hive from a wasp
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