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Name: Douglas
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: MD
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2014


Question:
Our family is beginning to raise honeybees. Our area is also full of stupid stinkbugs. I hate them. I read that praying mantises eat stink bugs but they also will eat bees. If we get a bunch of praying mantis eggs will they kill too many of the bees?



Replies:
Douglas,

A very wise question to ask. I'm content when I am out in the yard and I see praying mantises, knowing that they do consume some troublesome pests.

Last summer, when I saw one mantis on some sedum, I grabbed my camera to get some closeup shots. I was sad to witness, and photograph, the mantis as he/she devoured 3 honeybees before my eyes. The honeybees spend a lot of late summer on the flowering sedum, and the mantis captured and ate them effortlessly.

Your question is difficult to answer. I, too, despise the stinkbugs, and I'd appreciate help from the mantises in helping control their population. I am not sure if anyone has studied a comparative preference for food in honeybees vs. stinkbugs for the mantises. Depending on how serious a stinkbug infestation you are experiencing, mantises might be a good consideration, recognizing the potential for some honeybee loss. If there are not many stinkbugs, I would probably just capture and destroy the ones I find, by hand.

Thanks for using NEWTON! Ric Rupnik


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