Are Bee eaters a threat to UK bees, butterflies, dragonflies

After watching a bunch of bee eaters devouring many butterflies, moths and dragonflies (Bee eater eating butterfly | Observation | UK and Ireland | iSpot Nature) I wondered if they would have any effect on the numbers of these species in UK if the bee eaters become established here in large numbers. RSPB says no, the birds are not a threat to our bees etc.

The quarry where they were nesting this year had some stacks of bricks at the back in what looked to me like bee hive shapes. So perhaps the birds thought they had everything they needed, nice sandy walls for nest holes, ready source of food and, this year at least, nice weather. They also had 24hour guard from predators provided by the wardens.

I was wondering exactly the same myself when seeing all the amazing photos. Good to know that the RSPB feels they won’t - but equally seems difficult to see, to me at least, how they wouldn’t!

I thought we were supposed to get rid of aliens such as Himalayan Balsam, Rhododendron, giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, mink etc. Or does the rule not apply to birds?

Think the issue is that the birds have come here themselves without help of humans, just like loads of inverts that are spreading north. A difference is that this year they have actually bread and look to successfully raise young whereas in past they have generally failed

Did RSPB tell you their reasoning or did they just say no?

Buzz as rare ‘rainbow birds’ set up summer home in Norfolk | RSPB their website just says basically no as they are assuming they won’t be as successful as red kites for example.

Thanks for that link, @miked

I was amazed by your lovely photos, I had not kept up with their travels. Like so many species, they are on the move as are habitats and conditions that suit them. Pity the less mobile ones?

I imagine the numbers are (or should be) on the side of the insects, no matter how many bee eaters show up. Several of our existing song birds also eat butterflies and eggs/caterpillars I imagine, as would spiders and other predators… Would only likely be an issue if bee eaters take a liking for some particularly threatened species?

I think the bee eaters will have an effect. The insects they eat will not be available for other insectivores (birds especially) to eat. So some will go hungry.