Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Asian Predatory Wasp (Vespa velutina, Vespidae)

Posted by
itchydogimages (Pu'er, China) on 30 June 2013 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

I was fortunate to observe the initial stages of what I assume was a raid on a bee hive. These hornets often attack hives ambushing returning individual bees or to obtain the honey bee larvae as food for their own larvae. A single scout, sometimes two or three, will cautiously approach the hive, producing pheromones to lead its nest-mates to the hive. This I believe is what I observed. No attack occurred while I was watching but a rotation of three hornets hovered menacingly outside the entrance to the hive which was within a stone wall. The bees were obviously agitated and formed a mass at the hive entrance performing a vibrating dance in unison (some are visible in this image). I felt intimidated not only because I was sitting close to an agitated bee hive but to be in the presence of these awesomely large and majestic hornets presumably plotting the demise of their lesser cousins.

Pu'er, Yunnan, China

SONY DSC-R1 1/400 second F/14.0 ISO 160 49 mm

For an overload of my Chinese insect and spider images, and non-organic subjects from China, check on my Flickr photostream at

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Wonderful capture.

30 Jun 2013 11:45am

aaanouel from Heredia, Costa Rica

✎ ✓✓✓✓✓

30 Jun 2013 2:17pm

Josep from Barcelona, Spain

Amazing! Superb motion capture!

30 Jun 2013 4:27pm

Patrick M. from Lille, France

Magnifique !!

30 Jun 2013 4:45pm

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran


30 Jun 2013 5:58pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice!
so so beautiful focus, colors & details!
W O N D E R F U L !

30 Jun 2013 8:10pm

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

Amazing in-flight capture.

1 Jul 2013 1:24am

Sharon Pleasants from Monroe, Louisiana, United States

Definitely a "wow" shot. One of your best. Being a beekeeper, I do not like predators like this one, but the shot is still awesome.

1 Jul 2013 2:41am

L'angevine from Angers, France

intéressante capture

1 Jul 2013 7:45am

This image has been featured in 2 Remix collections.

Fooled by macrology by Josep

Insectes by Patrick M.

1/400 second
ISO 160
49 mm