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Large Bee robbers in Albany WA



Yesterday we noticed lots of activity at the entrance to one of our hives. The bees were loud and busy and could not get too close. There was about 50 dead bees below the hive.

So this morining we suited up. There was fighting going on. We have Italian bees and these things coming into the hive are golden like the Italian bees but 3 to 4 times the size. They were bigger than the drones we have and did not have big eyes or rounded bottoms. 3 or 4 of our bees would hope on the back of these to defend the hive. All the honey stores are gone from the super but brood and honey in brood box.

So I reduced the entrance size down to about 3cm. We have a top feeder that sits above the super. I put that on and gave a little bee sweet to that. There is a queen excluder on. These invaders will not get up there as they are way too big.

This is my first hive. Only 6 months old. I don’t want to lose them. Anything else I should do.

The other question what are these massive bees. I’ll try and take a photo but they are all very unsettled



Crikey! Are they wasps/yellow jackets ?
Have a look here Problem with wasps and queen not laying

This is a current thread on robbing


Hi Dee.

They were not wasps their body dimensions and appearance was the same as the bees I have but just much bigger. More than double the size of the drones.

Don’t think we get yellow jackets in Australia. I hope they are ok.



Any chance you could take a photo? :wink:


Dawn !

I guess taking pix’s is second or even 1st nature to me. So easy to snap a shot with today’s cameras n cell-phone. Then the ID might not be so iffy or guessie here !

Looking forward to great clear pix’s of these enemy warriors … I’d sure close down the entrance some at the same time !

Interesting stuff,

Several A.M. pix’s!


My Witch hazel is through too. Lovely scent.


Hornets, then? …Big wasps


i was so concerned about what was happening that I did not take my phone out to the hive. Today there is seems to be normal activity in and out of the hive. No foreigners!!

After lots of googling … I think they must have been large carpenter bees. I could not find one in the pile of dead bees. However our ants do a good job at cleaning them up.

Hoping they pick up and are ok.



My camera n phone usual glued to me ! I did an array of photography including outdoor/nature stuff. Habits often hard to break.

Glad to hear your robber issues seem to end itself. I lost three colonies to yellow jackets up here Stateside … I have replacement Nucs ordered for our Spring but it’s extra $$$’s n time waisted ! Take care !



These bees? http://www.aussiebee.com.au/xylocopa.html

We have had the occasional bumble bee find its way into a hive, but have never experienced robbing by any other native bees.

Is that common for Aussie beeks to deal with giant carpenter bees?


we do have European wasps- and they are virtually identical looking to yellow jackets if not the same thing. It sounds to me like wasps. I can’t imagine that its a type of bee. Can you kill on one and take a photo?


Hi Bee Peeker. Yes they looked like those images. That’s why I think it is carpenter bees.

The good news. They have not returned and there is a little beard on the front of the hive. Extra protection I guess.

Bad news. I have not been able to take a photo of them. I do hope they don’t come back. Maybe I saw it right at the beginning and now the hive has fought and defended itself. I’m hopeful. The Marri will blossom down here soon. :blush:


No European wasp here in the west. well not in numbers anyway, if one is found it must be reported to the ag dept and its nest is located and exterminated, we’re not giving up on our biosecurity just yet.
Vespula germanica = European wasp = yellow jacket wasp.

Pretty hard to mistake for a bee, especially if you are a bee keeper.


we have them here in SA. In Autumn I had some attacking my hives- but never very many. Havn’t seen one for a few months. Id kill their nest if I knew where it was :wink:


The most common European wasp in the world and in UK is Vespula vulgaris
Same size as germanica…markings a little different.