Synopsis : 5%, 40%, 80%? What proportion of the Asian hornet’s diet is honey bees? It depends where and how you look, but we need to know to help mitigate the impact of the hornet invasion.
Munchity crunchity are the words that usually come to mind 1 when I watch a dragonfly chewing on whatever hapless insect it has just caught. There’s the crunching as the chitinous exoskeleton is pared away and discarded and the munching through the soft abdominal tissues and thoracic musculature 2
Whatever it is, it’s a term that nicely describes the sight – and sound if you’re close enough – of eating something crispy on the outside and squidgy in the middle, like a dragonfly eating a wasp, an otter eating a sea urchin, or a dinner guest scoffing the last of the dark chocolate pralines.
Munchity crunchity is not ((Yet.)) the accepted technical term describing how an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) worker dismembers a honey bee to prepare a protein-rich pellet to take back to the nest to feed the developing larvae, but perhaps it should be?
Although most of the press coverage (and inevitably most of the beekeeping coverage) has been about the decimation of honey bee colonies by Asian hornets, their success as an invasive insect is because they have catholic tastes and are opportunistic predators.