An Impostor


On the last really warm day we had, I was out by the hive just observing the bees that were coming and going. There were a whole bunch of them just kind of congested at the entrance and hovering around the front of the hive waiting for their turn to go in. And then I noticed something in the flight pattern of one of them, it just stood out to me right away – an impostor bee! It looked similar in coloring to my honey bees, but the stripes were all wrong and the way it flew was much more like a house fly.

Luckily, Andrew was able to catch it for me – he’s so good at stuff like that – and I was able to google it to find out what it was. I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I think this is a Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax). And go ahead, I dare you to look up images of the larva..they’re called rat-tailed maggots!

When I first saw this suspicious fellow, I was a little concerned because I know that there are honey bee impostors out there that can cause a lot of trouble for a hive. This Drone Fly, from what I’ve read about it, doesn’t appear to be that kind of pest…but I do wonder what its presence around my hive means.


2 thoughts on “An Impostor

  1. This is a hover fly. They’re harmless to honeybees as far as I know. They’re just another type of pollinator in your garden, and have taken advantage of the honeybees known coloration to discourage predators from bothering them.

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