Tiger Bee Fly: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

The tiger bee fly is a fascinating insect that you might have encountered while spending time outdoors. This intriguing creature is known for its unique appearance and distinctive wing markings.

It is one of about 800 species of bee flies in North America and has a noteworthy impact on carpenter bees.

As a parasitic species, the female tiger bee fly is on the hunt for carpenter bee nests.

Once she locates a nest, she deposits her eggs where carpenter bees have laid theirs. In this exceptional relationship, the tiger bee fly larvae feed on the carpenter bee larvae, playing a role in controlling their populations.

Understanding the role and life cycle of the tiger bee fly can provide insights into the complex world of insect interactions.

As you learn more about this captivating species, you’ll gain a broader perspective on the balance of nature and the importance of these small, yet significant inhabitants of our ecosystem.

Understanding the Tiger Bee Fly

Classification

The tiger bee fly is an insect belonging to the order Diptera. It is a member of the family Bombyliidae, which comprises about 800 species of bee flies in North America1.

Scientific Name

The scientific name for the tiger bee fly is Xenox tigrinus2.

Size and Appearance

The tiger bee fly is a large fly with a distinctive appearance. Some of its key features include:

  • A large abdomen
  • A black body
  • Transparent wings with white spots and patterns resembling tiger stripes

This combination of size and coloration makes the tiger bee fly easy to recognize.

Coloration

The tiger bee fly’s unique appearance comes from its black body and transparent wings that have white spots and patterns resembling tiger stripes.

These bold markings help to set it apart from other flies and insects, making it easier to identify3.

Remember that your friendly neighborhood tiger bee fly is not a true bee, but rather an impressive mimic.

Keep an eye out for its unique appearance when exploring your surroundings and have fun learning more about these fascinating creatures.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Feeding Habits

The tiger bee fly typically feeds on nectar from flowers. They have a long proboscis, which helps them to suck nectar from various flowers.

Their consumption of nectar is essential for their energy while flying. Just like bees, they also act as pollinators for flowers.

In contrast, tiger bee fly larvae have a different feeding habit. They are parasitoids, meaning they kill their host to obtain nourishment.

They specifically target carpenter bee larvae as their main food source.

The female tiger bee fly lays her eggs near carpenter bee entrance holes, and the resulting larvae crawl into the tunnels to feed on the pollen balls intended for the carpenter bee’s offspring.

Breeding and Lifecycle

Tiger bee flies have a unique breeding process. Once fertilized, the female tiger bee fly finds carpenter bee nests and deposits her eggs nearby.

This helps to ensure that the larvae have immediate access to their food source, the carpenter bee larvae.

The larvae go through a few stages of growth before pupating.

After some time, adult tiger bee flies emerge, ready to find their own food, mate, and continue the cycle. The entire lifecycle occurs within the range of typical North American seasons.

Habitat

Tiger bee flies are commonly found across North America, spanning from Canada to Mexico, including places like Missouri.

They mainly inhabit areas where carpenter bees are present, as their larvae rely on carpenter bee larvae for survival.

You can often spot tiger bee flies hovering around wooden surfaces such as privacy fences or roof overhangs, where carpenter bees might lay their eggs.

As they are pollinators, you’ll also find them near flowers and gardens while searching for nectar.

Tiger Bee Fly and Carpenter Bees

Parasitic Relationship

The Tiger Bee Fly is known for its parasitic relationship with carpenter bees, specifically the Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica). This is how it works:

  • Female tiger bee flies lay their eggs near carpenter bee entrance holes.
  • The resulting larvae (maggots) crawl into the carpenter bee’s tunnels.
  • They feed on the pollen balls intended for the carpenter bee’s larvae.

This parasitic behavior is a threat to the carpenter bees in the Apidae family.

Impact on Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are important pollinators. However, when faced with the tiger bee fly’s parasitic relationship, they can experience some negative consequences:

  • Reduced carpenter bee populations.
  • Damage to the carpenter bee tunnels.
  • Decreased pollination efficiency.

Despite these challenges, both carpenter bees and tiger bee flies play an essential role in the ecosystem.

It’s important to consider human activities that might disrupt the delicate balance between these insects, such as pesticide use and habitat loss.

Importance in Ecosystem

Role as Pollinators

Tiger bee flies play a crucial part in the ecosystem as pollinators. Although they are not as efficient as typical pollinators such as bees or butterflies, they still contribute to plant fertilization.

As adults, tiger bee flies feed on nectar from flowers. While doing this, they unintentionally transfer pollen from one flower to another.

This process helps plants reproduce, resulting in better flora and plant diversity.

Interactions with Other Insects

Tiger bee flies have a complex relationship with carpenter bees. They are parasites of carpenter bee larvae, meaning the fly larvae consume and ultimately kill their hosts.

Female tiger bee flies lay eggs close to carpenter bee tunnels. When their larvae hatch, they feed on carpenter bee offspring’s pollen balls before consuming the larvae themselves.

Tiger bee flies may also assist in controlling insect populations, as they target pests such as mosquitoes or other arthropods. As natural predators, they can help maintain balance in insect ecosystems.

While some insects might be negatively affected by the feeding habits of tiger bee fly larvae, the adult flies also contribute positively to the ecosystem by serving as pollinators.

Their interactions with other insects illustrate the complexity and delicate balance within the world of arthropods.

Tiger Bee Fly

Identifying Tiger Bee Flies

Tiger bee flies are quite distinctive, making identification relatively easy. They are part of a large family of true flies, Bombyliidae, which contains about 800 species in North America.

Here are some key features to help you recognize a tiger bee fly:

  • Wing markings: Tiger bee flies have a unique pattern on their wings, making them stand out from other species.
  • Size and appearance: These flies resemble pudgy, fuzzy bees, and some even look like strangely fuzzy mosquitoes with a long proboscis.
  • Behavior: These flies are known to hover around wooden privacy fences, wooden roof overhangs, and similar wooden surfaces where carpenter bees lay their eggs.

To better understand the differences between tiger bee flies and bees, consider the following comparison table:

FeatureTiger Bee FlyBee
AppearanceFuzzy, pudgy bodyMore streamlined body shape
Wing patternDistinctive markingsClear, plain wings
ProboscisPresent in some species to suck nectarBees have a tongue for collecting nectar
BehaviorHovering near wooden surfacesForaging on flowers for nectar and pollen

Remember, while tiger bee flies may be interesting to look at, they are not harmless. They parasitize carpenter bee larvae by laying eggs near carpenter bee entrance holes, so keep an eye out if you have carpenter bees around your property.

Historical and Cultural Significance

The Tiger Bee Fly (Xenox tigrinus) has been around for many years, even dating back to 1776.

It is commonly found in various locations like Alabama, Wisconsin, and other states in the United States. This interesting insect holds cultural significance for some due to its unique behavior and appearance.

The unique behaviors and physical characteristics of the Tiger Bee Fly have made it a fascinating subject for research and study.

For example, Carl De Geer, a Swedish naturalist, studied and documented various aspects of insect life, including the Tiger Bee Fly, in his scientific works.

Tiger Bee Flies are also popular subjects on websites like BugGuide, where entomologists and insect enthusiasts share information and discuss the many fascinating aspects of these creatures.

Interesting Facts

The Tiger Bee Fly (Xenox tigrinus) is a unique and intriguing insect. It belongs to the Bombyliidae family, which is commonly called “bee flies” due to their striking resemblance to bees1.

Interestingly, the “tigrinus” part of its name comes from the intricate black markings present on the fly’s wings1.

The Tiger Bee Fly has a rather menacing side as well. It is known to parasitize the larvae of carpenter bees2.

In fact, the female Tiger Bee Fly specifically targets and deposits her eggs near carpenter bee larvae. Once hatched, the fly’s maggot-like offspring consume the carpenter bee larvae in a vampire-like fashion2.

Here are some key features of the Tiger Bee Fly:

  • Resembles bees in appearance1
  • Intricate black markings on wings1
  • Parasitizes carpenter bee larvae2
  • Maggot-like offspring feed on carpenter bee larvae2

While the Tiger Bee Fly might seem intimidating, it’s important to remember that it plays a role in the larger ecosystem.

The next time you spot one near your wooden fence or roof overhang, take a moment to appreciate this fascinating insect and its intriguing habits.

Conclusion

In summary, the tiger bee fly, Xenox tigrinus, is a remarkable insect with a unique role in the ecosystem.

As a pollinator and a parasitic predator of carpenter bee larvae, it contributes to both plant reproduction and the control of carpenter bee populations.

Its distinctive appearance, with transparent wings marked like a tiger’s stripes, makes it an intriguing subject for observation and study.

Understanding the tiger bee fly’s lifecycle and behavior enhances our appreciation of the complex interactions within nature.

Footnotes

  1. Tiger Bee Fly | Missouri Department of Conservation 2 3 4 5

  2. The Tiger Bee Fly: A Carpenter Bee Nemesis | BYGL 2 3 4 5 6 7

  3. Bee Flies ( Bombylius spp.) – US Forest Service

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about tiger bee flies. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Tiger Bee Fly

What is this??
Location:  tillsonburg, ON Canada
August 11, 2010 5:46 pm
We have noticed a couple of these very large creatures in our yard lately – they dont seem agressive but we have children and since they are about half the size of my thumb I wish they’d vacate 🙂 They are very large bodied and are black with white spots…any idea what they are?? Strange looking overgrown deer/horse flies??
Curious in Canada

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Curious in Canada,
The Tiger Bee Fly you have photographed is a harmless pollinator and you have nothing to fear from it.

Boy thats great to hear — never seen such a large fly!!
THANKS!!!
Mrs. Moy Harries

Letter 2 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Moth or Bee?
Location: Northeast Florida
July 4, 2012 7:07 pm
I can usually figure out most of the bugs I see, but this one has me puzzled. It was sitting on the fence in my yard in northeast FL this morning. It was about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches across at the widest part of the wings. It kept moving around and didn’t stay in one place very long, so this the best I could do with a photo before it left. At first I thought it was a moth, but it also looks something like a bee.
Signature: Karen in FL

Subject: Moth or Bee Follow-up
Location: Northeast Florida
July 5, 2012 4:58 pm
I sent in a photo last night that I was having trouble identifying–at first it looked like a moth to me, but up close more like a bee. I continued to research this bug today and finally got an ID–it’s a Tiger Bee Fly! I learned that Tiger Bee Flies lay eggs in Carpenter Bees’ tunnels and that the Tiger Bee Fly larvae prey on the Carpenter Bees’ young. We do have Carpenter Bees around so that all made sense to me. I’m attaching my Tiger Bee Fly photo again in case you missed it earlier.
Signature: Karen in FL

Tiger Bee Fly

Hi Karen,
Congratulations on identifying your Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus.  There is wonderful information on BugGuide.

I would have identified it sooner if I hadn’t been sure for awhile that it was some sort of moth! I’ve never seen one of these before, so it was interesting to come across it and figure out what it was.
Karen

Letter 3 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Me again!
Location: Welland Ontario
August 3, 2012 5:09 pm
Sorry, to bother you again, and thank you for answering my last inquiry. There are these flies/bee things here and they are soooooo big. No clue what they are, could you please see if you can help me out again?? I thought maybe horse/deer flies, but nothing is as big as these are. The pics don’t do the size justice. I shouldn’t have zoomed in, but I wasn’t getting close lol
Signature: Thanks a bunch! Julie

Tiger Bee Fly

Hi Julie,
This Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus, is perfectly harmless.  According to BugGuide it is:  ” A large Bee Fly with a distinctive wing pattern. Note the large, wrap-around eyes.”

Letter 4 – Tiger Bee Fly

A Bee Fly?
July 30, 2009
Hello, I happened upon this little fellow in my back yard, we have a number of flowers but it preferred to sit on my steps. I dont know what it is but looks very similar to a Bee Fly thats been posted on your front page. These were shot with a Canon XSI with the 18-55mm kit lens. Very minor post processing, and just conversion to bw on 3rd image in photoshop.
Steve
Brooklyn NY

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Hi Steve,
Though your image looks quite similar to the Bee Fly we recently posted, we believe your Bee Fly is a Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, based on the patterns and veins of the wings.  Compare your photos to those on BugGuide.

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Letter 5 – Tiger Bee Fly

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.

Letter 6 – Tiger Bee Fly

Insect to identify
Hello. Just wondering if you could please identify this bug that landed in our yard (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on the handle bars of a bike. The body is 5/8″ long and the wingspan is just over 1″. Thanks!
Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,
We located your Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus, on BugGuide.
The larvae parasitize Carpenter Bees.

Letter 7 – Mating Tiger Bee Flies

black moth wasp?
Location:  Ann Arbor ,MI
July 30, 2010 1:21 pm
Dear Bugman, I have lived in Michigan my entire life, and only this year have ever noticed a bug like the one in my picture. These insects are actually fairly commonly found on the balcony of the apartment I recently moved into. They like to rest on the wood of the railing and sometimes hang around in my potted flowers. The balcony is a favorite place of many kinds of wasps (yellow jackets and others) and bees. My home is near a small stand of forest. These mystery bugs started showing up toward the end of June. I have been searching the internet for help identifying, and have found some creatures known as ”wasp moths”. I am wondering if perhaps that’s what they are. The picture I have submitted is the one that is the clearest – it also happens to have two of the insects in it. I believe they are mating. Any help with identification would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Kristin Knuutila

Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Hi Kristin,
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies, Xenox tigrinus, a species that is widespread across North America according to BugGuide.

Daniel,
Thank you forgetting back to me.  I really appreciate it.  I actually found some Tiger Bee Fly pictures on your site after I had submitted my picture.  I guess I should scour your archives more carefully next time.  Thank you again for the prompt reply and the service you provide.
Kristin

Letter 8 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Big black insect with clear, spotted wings
Location: Columbus, OH
July 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Saw two of these creatures on some potted flowers on my deck tonight. I’m in Columbus, OH – photo taken in the evening of July 19, 2013. Very hot out, nearing the end of a week+ of 90-degree days. The body is about the length of a man’s thumbnail. Even with a steady and sometimes strong breeze, they never moved an inch. Would love to know what they are!
Signature: Emily

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Emily,
We believe we have identified your Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae as a Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus.  This is a harmless species whose “Larva is a parasitoid of Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa” according to BugGuide.

Letter 9 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: what’s this bug??
Location: georgia
July 19, 2013 9:26 am
hello! It’s a hot summer here in georgia and this year we have been flooded with theses flying insects. at first I thought they were wasps but now I’m not so sure. please help if you can!
Signature: any

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

This sure looks to us like another Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus.

Letter 10 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: unknown flying insect
Location: northern Illinois
August 24, 2013 2:03 pm
Hi Bugman,
While lounging in my backyard in Lake County Illinois, this insect flew around me several times before perching on the canopy of my lawn chair. It was very loud while in flight. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Gardening Goddess

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Hi Gardening Goddess,
This harmless insect is a Tiger Bee Fly, Xenox tigrinus.  According to BugGuide:  “Female lays eggs at entrance of carpenter bee nests. Larvae waits until carpenter bee’s larvae reach the pupal stage to parasitize it Urban Wildlife.

Thank you soooo much for getting back to me. As an organic gardener I come across an amazing range of insects. Now I know not to fear this guy!

Letter 11 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Moth or Fly?
Location: Baltimore, MD
August 6, 2014 10:44 am
This guy was on my “golden jubliee” agastache, the last week of July, in Baltimore, Maryland. I live in the city itself, but we have a park nearby and lots of neighbors have nice gardens.
I’ve never seen anything like this one before. I was thinking a clearwing moth, but it doesn’t look like any I’ve seen. Do you know?
Signature: Summer

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Summer,
This large fly is commonly called a Tiger Bee Fly and its scientific name is
Xenox tigrinus.  You can view a nice matching image on BugGuide.  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).”  Many Bee Flies in the family Bmbyliidae are important pollinators, and your observation on the agastache (See High Country Gardens) would indicate that despite the lack of information on the feeding habits of the Tiger Bee Fly on BugGuide, it is also a pollinator like other members of the family.

Letter 12 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Big, scary fly?
Location: Montclair, NJ
August 13, 2014 8:22 am
Hi there,
Every sunny day this summer I have had to run a gauntlet up and down my stairs, which are outdoor deck stairs, past two or three yellowjackets and one or two of these guys. At first, seeing them in flight, I thought they were black and white hornets but then I saw one landed and it rather looks like a huge fly with delta-shape wings. They buzz threateningly as they fly past. I’m wondering if they bite. I’m terrified to walk past them, but I found a very dead one on the pavement to photograph.
Signature: Amanda, Montclair NJ

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Amanda,
While Yellowjackets defending a nest might be cause for concern, this Tiger Bee Fly,
Xenox tigrinus, is perfectly harmless.  See BugGuide for additional information.  This dead individual may have fallen prey to another impressive and scary but harmless fly, a Robber Fly.

Thank you very much!  I was afraid it was like a horsefly that bit me once, and I won’t forget that!

Letter 13 – Tiger Bee Fly

Subject: Horse fly moth?
Location: Buffalo NY
August 17, 2014 11:39 am
Curious as to what this bug is.
Signature: Cheryl

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Cheryl,
This is a harmless Tiger Bee Fly.

Letter 14 – Mating Tiger Bee Flies

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.

Letter 15 – Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Subject:  Large flying things
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany NY
Date: 07/28/2018
Time: 01:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’d like to know what you are. An why you like trying to steal my tanning chair.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug friend

Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Dear Bug friend,
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies, and to the best of our knowledge, they neither sting nor bite.

Reader Emails

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Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Tiger Bee Fly from Canada

Subject:  Tiger Bee Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Oakville Ontario Canada
Date: 08/03/2022
Time: {current_time} EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this strange fly on our deck …never seen one before so question is was it brought up here by weather winds as this appears to be too far north?
How you want your letter signed:  Richard Weima

Tiger Bee Fly
Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Richard,
This is indeed a Tiger Bee Fly, a large fly that parasitizes the nests of Carpenter Bees.  Tiger Bee Flies are frequently reported from Canada.  According to BugGuide, sightings in Canada are reported in August and September.

Authors

  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

49 thoughts on “Tiger Bee Fly: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell”

  1. bee fly, name for the small- to medium-sized flies of the family Bombyliidae, many of which resemble bees in appearance and behavior. This mimicry provides bee flies with some measure of protection against predators that have learned to avoid the sting of true bees. A bee fly has a stout, hairy body and long proboscis. In many species the body and wings are strikingly marked in yellow and brown. Most are very swift fliers and buzz loudly like a bee if caught in a net. They seek heat and are often found flying close to the ground in dry, sandy regions. The adults feed on nectar and hover above flowers like bees. The larvae feed on larvae or pupae of other insects; they are beneficial as parasites of harmful species. Beelike flies are also found in other families. The syrphid flies (family Syrphidae), also called hover flies and flower flies, are a large, cosmopolitan group of beelike and wasplike flies. Many syrphid flies bear a very close resemblance to a particular bee or wasp species. Many of the robber flies (family Asilidae) resemble bumblebees. All of these are true flies; they are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Diptera.

    Reply
  2. Saw one of these for the first time yesterday in Toronto, Canada. They were happily sitting on the wall of my balcony. They freaked me out, due to their size, but coming here and learning who they are took away my fear completely. I have hundreds of carpenter bees around and that is why they have shown up. Hopefully they will come back because I would really love to get a photo of them.
    Thank you once again for the invaluable information you provide at What’s That Bug.

    Reply
  3. Saw one of these for the first time yesterday in Toronto, Canada. They were happily sitting on the wall of my balcony. They freaked me out, due to their size, but coming here and learning who they are took away my fear completely. I have hundreds of carpenter bees around and that is why they have shown up. Hopefully they will come back because I would really love to get a photo of them.
    Thank you once again for the invaluable information you provide at What’s That Bug.

    Reply
  4. These just showed up this week in the front of my house and they are chasing the hummingbirds away, not allowing them to get to the feeders. Have you ever heard of them doing this before? We had carpenter ants a couple of years ago. The tree that they came from is gone thanks to Superstorm Sandy. I wonder what’s bringing the Tiger Bee flies?

    Reply
  5. I’m trying to send pictures but I keep getting a Failed message. I’m using Google Chrome. Is that the problem?

    Reply
  6. Drexel Hill, PA
    I have seen these around my house for the past 2 summers and was wondering if they were a bee or a fly. Now I know. Last summer we watched 2 of the new grown ones birth from the carpenter bee holes in our deck railing. Our puppy is enjoying chasing them around the yard. Do they bite or sting?

    Reply
  7. Drexel Hill, PA
    I have seen these around my house for the past 2 summers and was wondering if they were a bee or a fly. Now I know. Last summer we watched 2 of the new grown ones birth from the carpenter bee holes in our deck railing. Our puppy is enjoying chasing them around the yard. Do they bite or sting?

    Reply
  8. I leave in Philadelphia , Pa. and I have these bees on my back yard for the first time I have never seen them before they just appeared on my deck. Should I be worried and what should I do about them I have small kids and I am worried .

    Thank you
    Worried mom!

    Reply
  9. I leave in Philadelphia , Pa. and I have these bees on my back yard for the first time I have never seen them before they just appeared on my deck. Should I be worried and what should I do about them I have small kids and I am worried .

    Thank you
    Worried mom!

    Reply
  10. I have a couple of these near my house. It looks like one is coming out of the railing on my deck (back end is sticking out). Do they chew on wood? How do they hatch?

    Reply
  11. I got bit by tiger bee fly. It hurt what kind they have poison? It feels not like same other ant, bee, mosquitos , els.

    Reply
  12. Well – I just found one here in Hamilton – in our front den resting on the lamp shade!
    Thanks to your post I now know it’s harmless.
    My son and I had a bet – I said moth, he said some sort of bee.
    Thanks for the info.
    Cheers

    Reply
    • To the best of our knowledge, Bee Flies neither sting nor bite. We suspect you are mistaken regarding the identity of the insect that bit or stung you.

      Reply
    • I have been bit also. If you get close to what I assume is a nest they will stay with you until you are a distance from the nest and every time they land on you they will bite or sting you. They leave welts when they bite! I came to this page trying to find a way to get rid of them. We can’t go in our back yard without getting bit.

      Reply
  13. I live in toledo ohio and I have quite a few in my front yard near my wind chimes on my porch just think it’s amazing that they are traveled to far

    Reply
    • I live in Cincinnati Ohio and I have seen those bugs too they are very creepy but don’t show any harm they were flying around and landing on my trampoline in my backyard.

      Reply
    • Hi Mary,
      You can click the Become a Patron box on our site for information on getting priority responses to your queries in the future, though we believe we already responded to both of your identification requests today.

      Reply
  14. I have one flying around my porch posts where the carpenter bees made nests, good to hear they are harmless, live in Ohio also.

    Reply
  15. I was bite or strung by a bug that looks a lot like this. It was on my hand. It hurt really bad. My hand swelled up. And 8 hours later my hand is still Swollen. And itches a lot. Do they have venom of any kind.

    Reply
    • Tiger Bee Flies do not bite nor sting. It must have been something else. Since Bee Flies mimic stinging insects, we would guess you were stung by a Wasp.

      Reply
  16. Nope was definitely this bug not a deer or horse fly. I don’t know about the whole best thing but this but repeatedly bite me and it does hurt. That is how I knew it landed on me and every time it landed on me it hurt. 100% sure I am NOT mistaken.

    Reply
  17. Thank you for posting they re harmless. My son-in-law is allergic to bees and when we saw this in the backyard it was very worrisome. Southern California

    Reply
  18. Oh yes they do bite! I have been bitten and am having some kind of reaction to it. I am not mistaken either. I was in my pool laying on a float and it landed on my foot so I got a good look at it. My foot is swelled and itching is relentless. They definitely bite!

    Reply
  19. 08.23.2021 Atlanta 9:30pm. Cat just brought one into the house. I caught it in a tupperware and put it back out. Then came to look it up. That thing is huge! and you can hear the wings flap. Make a buzzing sound like a micro Harley.

    Reply

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