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So I've started keeping honey bees recently and the other day I had my first odd bug out roaming in the unbuilt outer frames of my lower brood box. It was a nice large female Parcoblatta pennsylvanica. My wife was with me at the time and knocked it into the grass and let it scurry off. I found it kinda interesting that they could potentially live inside a honey bee colony. After speaking to several other bee keepers it seems this is a rather common occurrence and most just view them as bothersome but harmless. I was pretty pleased to hear non-roach people being pretty okay with roaches!

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Very interesting. Perhaps the females lay their egg cases near/inside the hive and take advantage of the warmer temperatures therein?

I could see them sneaking in for a bite of honey every once in a while as well. They seem to have pretty good Hymenopteran-ninja skills because I've also found them in logs swarming with carpenter ants, and the roaches just sit beneath all the ants swarming everywhere and enjoy the extra protection. lol

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Ive seen that same behavior in ant colonies with Parcoblatta virginica and pennsylvanica. Red and black carpenter ants only though, never the black carpenters. It's interesting behavior and I'd imagine they do the same in wild bee hives as well for te extra warmth and food. They probably don't excite and alarm pheromone from the ants or bees because they are not attacking them or their young. Bees don't hibernate either, they vibrate all winter in a football sized cluster to keep the temp above 50F. It's even warmer in the center, closer to daytime spring temps or more. I'd imagine you're correct about them overwintering because of the heat and food.

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It's interesting, ever since the temp got well above 85F during the day I've not seen anymore roaches within the colony. Parcoblatta seen to prefer damp cool locations from what I've noticed, I've never found any in an arid area around here...only in damp cool leaf litter...and my hive. I bet come fall I'll have plenty to replenish my dwindling colony. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always found nymphs of Parcoblatta living in the nest boxes of my Vespula colonies. In fact this past week there was one actually sitting on top of the nest in the folds of the envelope.

I think they just take advantage of the shelter and feed on the waste from the colonies

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That's likely the case. Oddly I haven't seen any lately, lots of bothersome black carpenter ants though. Ive never had a drive to raise wasps or hornets though so I have no experience on that end. Interestingly enough I just found out what we call "yellow jackets" are actually an invasive introduced species. From long ago, but still.

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I have bumble bees now. They are very messy. I would love to have some roaches clean up after them, but I don't have a setup that will allow that. I do have a hive that is on its last few weeks (bumble bee hives only last a season). I think I will give it to my orange heads when the last bees expire. They can clean it out for me.

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