Bee Killer: Mallophora fautrix

Subject: Two days in a row I came across these in the morning. Sacken’s Bee Hunterr
Location: Hemet Ca.
July 18, 2014 12:53 pm
I see that these kill our honey bees, I have found tow on the truck on two different days. I left them alone becasue I was not sure what they were. Now that I know, I want to kill them to protect our honey bees. your thoughts?
Signature: Lynn in So Cal

Bee Killer
Bee Killer

Hi Lynn,
Your mistaking this Bee Killer,
Mallophora fautrix, for Sacken’s Bee Hunter is understandable, but taking a closer look at the images posted to BugGuide and comparing them to images of Bee Killers in our archive will reveal some differences.  Sacken’s Bee Hunter has a yellow thorax and black abdomen with yellow tip, while your individual has a black thorax and yellow abdomen.  The antennae are also more thin and hairlike, and according to BugGuide, individuals in the genus Mallophora have :  “antennae with a very thin terminal final segment, whereas Laphria has thick antennae.”  We would urge you not to kill the Robber Flies as their predation is not the greatest problem faced by Honey Bees, and while the Robber Flies will prey on Honey Bees, they also feed on a variety of other winged insects.  Images in our archives show them preying on wasps.

Thank you so much for this information!. I have not nor will I kill these bee killers. I know everything has a place in the food chain and now that I know they do not just prey on our honey bees I will leave them alone, I found another this morning, I find it strange  to find one in the last 3 days. I need to read up on them to see if they have hives or nest?
Thanks again!!!

Robber Flies are solitary hunters that do not have hives nor nests.

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