Currently viewing the category: "Bee Flies"
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Subject: What is this?
Location: Essington Pa
July 25, 2015 9:38 am
Noticed them around the carpenter bees..which seem to be dying. Noticing bee carcasses. And no more carpenter bees…
Signature: Kristi Stewart

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Kristi,
This is a Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus, and according to BugGuide:  “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa.  Adult food unknown. An adult has been observed on damp mud, lapping up fluids (pers. observation, P. Coin).”  What we do not know and what we plan to research is at what point the adult emerges from the host Carpenter Bee.  Were we Tiger Bee Flies planning responsible parenthood, we would wait until the adult Carpenter Bee (see image of western Valley Carpenter Bees) emerges from the wood to complete metamorphosis because Tiger Bee Flies, unlike Carpenter Bees, do not possess the necessary mouth parts to chew their way out of the wood.  If the adult Tiger Bee Fly emerges after the adult Carpenter Bee emerges and begins to fly, that would explain the Eastern Carpenter Bee carcasses you are finding and it might also explain this previous mystery posting from our archives.

Sue Dougherty, Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Alisha Bragg, David Bernstein liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Strange Sighting
Location: Philadelphia, PA U.S.A.
July 17, 2015 9:02 am
I went out to my front yard looking at my impatiens plants. On one petal, there appeared this strange insect. It definitely was suckling on the flower . It looks like it’s conjoined and has two heads connected in the middle. Here’s some pictures that I took. Are these conjoined butterflies?
Signature: Barb Ward

Mating Bee Flies

Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Dear Barb,
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies,
Xenox tigrinus, and according to BugGuide:  “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa.
Adult food unknown. An adult has been observed on damp mud, lapping up fluids (pers. observation, P. Coin).  Life Cycle Female lays eggs at entrance of carpenter bee nests. Larvae waits until carpenter bee’s larvae reach the pupal stage to parasitize it.”  Other Bee Flies in the family Bombyliidae are pollinating insects, and we find it unusual that BugGuide states the “adult food unknown” but your observation indicates that these individuals might have been feeding from the flowers while procreating.

Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty, Lori Ledeboer, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Jessica M. Schemm liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a type of bee?
Location: wimberly, tx
May 31, 2015 11:33 am
we are trying to figure out if this is a type of bee.
Signature: Tater bug

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Tater bug,
We believe we have properly identified your Bee Fly as Poecilanthrax lucifer, based on images posted to BugGuide where we learned:  “The larvae feed on the moth larva of members of the family Noctuidae.”

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: a bee or not a bee; that is the question…
Location: Northern England
April 20, 2015 9:11 am
Sorry – couldn’t resist! This little fellow was alongside a bumble bee on my muscari this morning and I managed to get two photos. I can’t remember seeing one before. Please help :)
Many thanks
Signature: regards, Heather Cahill

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Heather,
This is NOT a Bee, but rather, a Greater Bee Fly, a harmless pollinating insect.  Flies have a single pair of wings while other flying insects have two pairs of wings.

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Do you know what this bug is?
Location: Chester England UK
April 19, 2015 7:44 am
Found on doorstep have posted on Facebook but none of my friends recognise it.
Signature: Karen

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Karen,
This is a Greater Bee Fly, a harmless pollinating insect that is found in North America as well as Europe.

Amy Gosch, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty, Marco Capuano liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: South Bend, IN
April 9, 2015 5:35 am
Dear Bugman,
I was out for a hike yesterday afternoon in South Bend, IN and I saw lots of these bugs flying around close to the ground. I would like to know what it is so I can learn more about it.
Signature: Bug Lover

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Bug Lover,
This is a Greater Bee Fly, a harmless pollinating insect.

Sue Dougherty, Jacob Helton, Rickie Louise Hill liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination