|This is actually from spring, but doesn't |
she look like she's been "Trick or Treating"?
Out on Red Path several of these sinister fellows pictured below, sat on the porch of two hives in particular. Paper Wasp populations peak in the fall and they can fly at colder temperatures than bees, so be wary of these predators.
They and other types of wasp will kill a honey bee colony and I've lost more than one in the late fall due to their aggressive tactics. The beekeeper is greeted with quite a horror show: headless bees, their thorax eaten out.
I've read a study done (will link to it when I locate it). The wasps seem to understand killing the queen is a winning strategy, so they seek her out. They dismember the honey bees, eating and carrying away what they can.
Photo right from Wikipedia Creative Commons: Paper Wasp
My winter hearty New England bees were flying sparingly this morning at around 48F degrees, but I believe the wasp can fly at 45F. Here is an interesting read from the UK about Wasp Attacks..