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The following is an e-mail conversation between an extension agent and Dr. Tarpy.

Good afternoon Agents!
I have a beekeeper who has hives near soybean fields and has seen lots of kudzu bugs congregating near the entrance of the hives. I figure that the bugs are looking for somewhere warm and are not doing harm to the bees. Has anyone else seen this and is there any threat to the bees?

Any help would be great. I've copied Dr. Tarpy as well.

Thanks!
Amanda

Hi Amanda,

I haven't heard any widespread reports of this phenomenon, but it wouldn't surprise me if the kudzu bugs are indeed being opportunistic here (for warmth, shelter, or both). They should not pose any problems for strong, healthy colonies, as the guard bees should keep them at bay. Even for weaker colonies, they likely won't do any harm since they won't be harming the nest, robbing honey reserves, or transmitting disease. This time of year, beekeepers are starting to prepare for overwintering, which would often entail installing entrance reducers, which would further help the bees police the entrances for any unwanted freeloaders.

Let me know if you have any other questions! Sincerely, David

Our December meeting will include a "honey exchange" and anyone who wishes to participate can bring a 1 pound jar or larger of honey to enter into the exchange.  This is a good opportunity to try honey from friends in other parts of the county.  Our December meeting usually includes a cover dish dinner and a bee movie.