Currently viewing the category: "Honey Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown pollinator
Location: Central Texas
March 24, 2014 5:57 pm
Can you help me identify this pollinator? The picture was taken mid-morning in central Texas on 3/18.
Signature: DanaK

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Dear DanaK,
This is a Honey Bee, a common species that has been kept domestically for thousands of years.

Thanks. Now I feel stupid, but glad to know what it is. I guess we just don’t see many actual honey bees here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identification of a bug / insect
Location: HMAS Cerberus, Hastings, Victoria
January 22, 2014 12:59 pm
Hi,
Hoping you can help me please.
I was at HMAS Cerberus earlier this week. I had asked my son to stand next to a monument for a photo. He spotted a bee and said “I’m not standing there, I don’t want to get stung” .. then out of nowhere, this huge bug / insect came flying past me, picked the bee out of the air and landed on the monument …. I told Jordan he didn’t have to worry about the bee anymore! hahaha
But taking photos of the insect, I have never seen one before and would like to find out what it is if possible. It’s an amazing looking bug. The feet on it look like hooves! Please see attached photos.
Thanks and kind regards,
Jen.
Melbourne, Australia
Signature: Jen – Jen’s Freelance Photography

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Jen,
What an amusing anecdote you have provided.  Did Jordan worry about this considerably larger, predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae?  Based on photos on the Brisbane Insect website, we believe this might be a Common Brown Robber Fly in the genus
Zosteria.  Robber Flies are very adept hunters and they often take large prey, including bees and wasps, while on the wing, just as you witnessed.

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for your reply.
Funnily enough, Jordan wasn’t as worried about the much larger “Robber Fly”.  It looked somewhat like a dragon fly and didn’t have a stinger on it’s tail so we were both thinking at the time that it was relatively harmless (until I read up on them!).  Seeing it take the bee mid flight, hearing an almost “thud” as it landed and then watching it devour it’s prey should have been a hint, in heinsight, that this was not a particularly friendly creature …. hahahaha.
I had sent an email to yourselves and also Pestworld.org   …  the people at Pestworld.org loved my images so much that they will now be using them on their website for identification purposes, which is fantastic.
Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me.  Should I encounter any further strange little creatures in my travels, I will forward them on.
Thanks and kind regards,
Jen.
Jeannie Van Den Boogaard
Jen’s Freelance Photography

Hi again Jen,
For the record, Robber Flies do not prey upon people and we have never gotten a report from a person who was bitten by a Robber Fly.  We suspect that if a Robber Fly is captured in one’s hands, a bite might result.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Carpenter Bee Robber Fly
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
November 21, 2013 2:47 am
I took these yesterday in my drive way.
Signature: Tiaan

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Tiaan,
Thanks for sending us your photos of a Carpenter Bee Robber Fly,
Hyperechia marshalli, feeding on a Honey Bee.  They are a nice addition to our Food Chain tag.

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s on The Tongue?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
September 18, 2013 3:38 pm
Hi Daniel,
I saw a bee on the bird bath today and was lucky enough to have my camera with me. Can you tell me what those odd gold colored things are on it’s proboscis? It sat there for quite some time ”cleaning” it with its front feet.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Honey Bee with Milkweed Pollinia

Honey Bee with Milkweed Pollinium

Hi Anna,
We believe this might be the pollinium or pollen sac of a milkweed.  We know you grow milkweed.  See Nadia’s Yard and scroll down the milkweed page to see milkweed pollina attached to a honey bee.  We first learned of Milkweed Pollinia from Julian Donahue who commented on a Orchid Bee posting.  Your photos are positively gorgeous.

Honey Bee and Milkweed Pollinium

Honey Bee and Milkweed Pollinium

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for clearing that one up for me, and for the compliment.  I’m enjoying the new camera.  Finally went from a point & shoot to a DSLR.  It makes a huge difference!
Anna

Hi again Anna,
While we believe that the camera is only as good as the photographer, we also believe that photographers should have the best equipment for their needs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Darlene in Torrance: Bee! No, Fly! No, Bee!
Location: Torrance, CA
June 29, 2013 11:21 am
I found a deceased bee today.
Conversation in my head: That’s an awfully big bee! No, it’s a fly – look at the eyes. Look how close together they are. That means it’s a male. Or does that mean it’s a female? I can never get that straight.
No, it’s a bee – remember the first thing in keying: it has four wings and flies only have two.
Of course it’s a bee!
Wait. It has a mustache between the eyes. Maybe it’s a robber fly. No, wait, the mustache is in the wrong place and the body shape and legs are all wrong.
Of course it’s a bee! (But that’s an awfully big bee!)
Signature: Always Keying in my Head Darlene from Torrance

Honey Bee Drone

Honey Bee Drone

Hi Always Keying in my Head Darlene from Torrance,
Are you the very Darlene that attended National Moth Week last year in Elyria Canyon Park?  Can we expect you to attend our 2013 National Moth Week event this year?
We are very excited about this submission.  This is a Honey Bee Drone which we first found pictured on the California Backyard Orchard website.  Much like you, we pondered the size of the eyes that are fly-like on the body of an apparent bee.  We did a web search for “big eye bee California” and found the photos and this amusing text from the California Backyard Orchard website:  “Drones–remotely piloted aircraft used in reconnaissance and target attacks–are in the news, but so are the other drones–male bees.  This time of year drones are as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth. They’re not needed in the hive now–just extra mouths to feed–so their sisters are booting them up. They’re basically evicted, cold and shivering, from the hive.  Drones are easy to identify: big eyes, bulky body, and lumbering movements.   It’s best to be a drone in the spring. When a virgin queen goes for her maiden flight, a group of drones will mate with her in the drone congregation area. The drones die shortly after mating. If they don’t mate, then they’ll die before winter sets in.”  We then verified the identity on BugGuide.  This is the first Drone Honey Bee photo we have ever received.  Thanks for the submission.

Honey Bee Drone

Honey Bee Drone

Daniel,
Yes, it’s me, the bug wrangler from last year’s moth week event. I’m planning on attending again this year.
I find it amazing that a dead bee I picked up is one you never received a photo of before.
Once, at Bio-Quip’s open house, there was an insect collection contest. I submitted mine from entomology class. I didn’t win, but Dr. James Hogue noticed my female Tipula oleracea crane fly and put it in the L.A. Natural History Museum collection because it was only the third of its kind he had ever seen in southern California.
Darlene

You are awesome Darlene.  I’m so excited you are coming back.  We might have to give you an award for traveling the farthest to Mount Washington.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Fair Trade Bee Story — Part 1
Location: Porto, Portugal
May 11, 2013 3:06 am
Olá!
This is very fitting story (as you’ll see from the pics) since today is World Fair Trade Day:

http://www.fairtraderesource.org/wftd/

Last weekend I was woken up by a captive buzzing up against the window. Not a fly but a honey bee! Obviously the poor thing had been inside all night which is a very long time to be away from the hive.
This would not do, so I found a glass and a card to capture her to assist in locating a now open window, but when I returned I could not find her. I thought she must have flown to another window so I looked for her elsewhere, but not to be seen (I did however find a spider who I took pics of in the meantime, coming soon maybe). Upon returning to my room though I spotted her, exhausted on the sill. She had nothing left in her and I was distressed feeling it was somehow my fault for not being more proactive.
What to do, oh what to do?
To be continued…
Signature: Curious Girl

Honey Bee

Honey Bee trapped indoors

Subject: A Fair Trade Bee Story — Part 2
Location: Porto, Portugal
May 11, 2013 3:12 am
As we left the story in the last chapter, the bee was not fit for flying. How could she ever get back to her sisters?
Then I remembered I had bought some amazing local raw honey when I first arrived. I dipped my momentarily handy citrus zester in and waved it under her nose. Showing instant interest, she tucked in to it and soon had perked up quite a bit. It was really adorable to see her excitement and rejuvenation (and her cute pink tongue).
Do notice the Postcard she is resting and snacking on. :)
Within about 10 minutes, off she flew. :)
Signature: Curious Girl

Honey Bee

Honey Bee on Fair Trade Postcard with Zester

Dear Curious Girl,
Thanks so much for sending us your Fair Trade Bee Story.  You are being tagged with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your kind treatment of this Honey Bee.  That is our favorite style of zester.

Honey Bee

Honey Bee eats raw honey

Apologies for the delay in answering. Had to travel (new pics coming soon) and filed your email away for answering when I had time then could not remember what i had done with it.
Anyway, I am honored to get the Bug Humanitarian award. Many thanks!
I wasn’t looking for medals but just trying to help another being out and that felt good in itself. It’s not always a happily ever after ending.
And yeah, the zester is fabulous. No lemon gets away without being zested first as the zest is great in salads and in tea. I’m not a big fan of gadgets but I find this one so worthy I even travel with it. :)
Glad you found value in the story! :) :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination