Occurrence of Hymenoptera (wasps and bees) and their foraging in the southwestern part of Jirisan National Park, South Korea

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  • ABSTRACT

    The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence and foraging of social and other wasps and bees in Jirisan National Park (JNP, South Korea), in particular in an apiary. Sixty one traps were placed in the southwestern part of JNP to identify social wasps from July to September 2014, and the damage to the apiary caused by wasps or bees was observed once a month from May to December 2014 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. In total, 10 species of Vespidae were collected by trapping. Vespa crabro was the most abundant (245 individuals, 28.3%), followed by Vespa velutina (162 individuals, 18.7%). In the apiary, however, V. velutina was the most frequent species. V. velutina visited a maximum of 167 times a day in September, which corresponded to one visit in 2.5 min. Accordingly, these data are in line with the most serious impact of V. velutina on the apiaries in South Korea. V. simillima was the second most frequent species; both Vespa species hawked honeybees. Even though the occurrence of V. mandarinia was low, this species caused serious damage by mass slaughter of honeybees. The occurrence of V. crabro, V. analis and V. ducalis was quite low and their impact on honeybees was negligible. There have been few reports of V. dybowskii foraging for honeybees, but they are considered to be a new pest because their impact on apiaries is considerable. Most Vespa species attacked the apiary from June to October, with a maximum in September. However, V. velutina visited until November to early December. Vespula species are not more serious pests than Vespa species, but many adults were observed stealing honey from beehives. Polistes, Orancistrocerus, and Bombus species had no impact on honeybee colonies in the apiary.


  • KEYWORD

    apiary , foraging , Jirisan National Park , Vespa velutina , Vespidae

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  • [Fig. 1.] Study sites in the southwestern part of Jirisan National Park, South Korea.
    Study sites in the southwestern part of Jirisan National Park, South Korea.
  • [Fig. 2.] The numbers of Vespidae species collected from 61 traps in the southwestern part of JNP from July to September 2014. Vm, Vespa mandarinia; Vc, V. crabro; Va, V. analis; Vs, V. simillima; Vd, V. ducalis; Vdy, V. dybowskii; Vv, V. velutina; Vlk, Vespula koreensis; Vlf, Vl. flaviceps; Dk, Dolichovespula kuami.
    The numbers of Vespidae species collected from 61 traps in the southwestern part of JNP from July to September 2014. Vm, Vespa mandarinia; Vc, V. crabro; Va, V. analis; Vs, V. simillima; Vd, V. ducalis; Vdy, V. dybowskii; Vv, V. velutina; Vlk, Vespula koreensis; Vlf, Vl. flaviceps; Dk, Dolichovespula kuami.
  • [Table 1.] Foraging behavior of wasps and a bumble bee in the apiary
    Foraging behavior of wasps and a bumble bee in the apiary
  • [Fig. 3.] Monthly visiting frequency of each Vespa species over 7 h in the 6 beehives of the apiary from May to December 2014.
    Monthly visiting frequency of each Vespa species over 7 h in the 6 beehives of the apiary from May to December 2014.
  • [Fig. 4.] Foraging for honeybees by Vespa species in front of the hive entrance. (a) Vespa velutina, (b) V. ducalis, (c) V. dybowskii, (d) V. simillima.
    Foraging for honeybees by Vespa species in front of the hive entrance. (a) Vespa velutina, (b) V. ducalis, (c) V. dybowskii, (d) V. simillima.
  • [Fig. 5.] Vespa species predation on honeybees in the apiary. Foraging for live honeybees by Vespa mandarinia (a), V. dybowskii. (b), V. simillima (c) and V. analis (d) selecting fresh honeybees but not rotten ones among honeybee carcasses.
    Vespa species predation on honeybees in the apiary. Foraging for live honeybees by Vespa mandarinia (a), V. dybowskii. (b), V. simillima (c) and V. analis (d) selecting fresh honeybees but not rotten ones among honeybee carcasses.
  • [Fig. 6.] Vespula and Dolichovespula species visiting the apiary. (a) Vespula flaviceps stealing honey from an abandoned comb, (b) Vl. flaviceps making a meat-ball from a dead honeybee, (c) Vl. koreensis stealing honey from a weak beehive, (d) Dead Dolichovespula kuami in front of a beehive.
    Vespula and Dolichovespula species visiting the apiary. (a) Vespula flaviceps stealing honey from an abandoned comb, (b) Vl. flaviceps making a meat-ball from a dead honeybee, (c) Vl. koreensis stealing honey from a weak beehive, (d) Dead Dolichovespula kuami in front of a beehive.
  • [Fig. 7.] A bumble bee and potter wasp visiting the apiary. (a) Bombus ignitus hovering in front of a beehive, (b) Orancistrocerus drewseni eating honey left in abandoned combs.
    A bumble bee and potter wasp visiting the apiary. (a) Bombus ignitus hovering in front of a beehive, (b) Orancistrocerus drewseni eating honey left in abandoned combs.