University of Maryland Extension



THE ASIAN GIANT HORNET - A Thereat to Honey Bee Colonies

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There are native hornets and then there are hornets that have been introduced to North America.  In the 1800’s the European hornet was brought to North America and has settled in, making nests in cavities of trees.  The mostly non aggressive females overwinter and can be seen in the springtime looking for suitable places to build her nest.  She is smaller than the Asian hornet, has a banded abdomen of black and yellow with rows of black teardrops.  The larger Asian hornet has been found only on the Pacific Northwest in Washington State.  They have a bright yellow face and a banded abdomen of yellow, black and brown. Penn State Extension has created an excellent page that compares the Asian giant hornet with other hornets and bees, including ones that can be found in Maryland. For more information please go to:


The saying "busy as a bee" comes from the hard working honey bee that serves so many important roles: pollinator, defender of the hive, and who can forget being a producer of that sweet honey!

Bee colonies serve two general purposes:

1. Pollinating Crops

2. Producing Honey 

Once you have an established bee colony, You have to actively manage the hive throughout the seasons to keep the hive healthy.  To ensure bee colonies remain healthy, you have to know what hive acitivities to focus on each season to ensure the hives remain productive.  Early spring management is primarily concerned with sufficient food stores and secondly with disease and mite control whereas fall management is primarily concerned with preparing honey bee colonies for winter.  Once the hives come out of winter, it may worthwhile for a beekeeper to divide colonies to increase numbers or to make up for winter losses.

Colony Collapse Disorder has brought an intensive focus across the nation in protecting pollenators.  Due strongly to this focused effort, homeowners have gained intrest in how they can assist in managing hives.  Hives do not take a large amount of space to manage.  If done correctly, some people can even make produce an income by renting bee hives to farmers!  

 BEEKEEPER SERVICES - Swarm and Nest Removal, Honey for Sale



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