As if the drought and extreme heat were not enough of a challenge this year, we have a new threat to our sweet bees, especially at the Pizza yard. It took a couple of days to identify this creature but we now know it is a robber fly and it was chowing down on our bees! I first noticed them flying about the yard as I wandered around snapping away on my camera, enjoying being outdoors, listening to Mark and David work the hives. Then I noticed how big they were and how they resembled mosquitos. Mosquitos and I do not like each other. I don’t mind them but they like to chow down on me so we can’t live in harmony I’m afraid. Anyway, for this reason I was weary of these flying, giant mosquito like critters. So of course I snapped some shots to show Mark since I’d never seen this type of insect before in our bee yards. THEN I saw it’s odd movements…CREEPY! When I saw this guy with one of our bees, I was horrified but fascinated. Poor bee. It appears (and my coworkers and I confirmed this with a little research today) that the evil robber fly sometimes hunts its prey for up to 20 minutes and when they least expect it (imagine innocent bee going about her business gathering nectar and pollen), they are pounced upon by this alien-look-alike and then the liquid in their little bodies are sucked out of them. Gruesome. We all agree it’s straight out of a horror science fiction flick – yes, there’s been a LOT of discussion about the evil robber fly. Anyway, thought you might like to see one of the perils facing our bees this year. Look for a movie about giant 6-foot robber bees terrifying beekeepers and beekeeper’s wives/photographers. I’m going to write a screenplay one day when I have time. Meanwhile, I will entertain my friends and coworkers with tales of our alien-creature beeventures.
I posted a short 17-second video of the robber fly on our Facebook should you wish to see it. I’ve been having trouble loading to YouTube still so I am frustratingly taking a break from the YT.