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.