Saturday, August 20, 2011

Robberflies Everywhere this year!

I have at least 4 Robberflies Promachus bastardii hanging out near the bee hive. I'm betting a single robberfly captures and eats 5-6 honey bees each a day. When I did the Durham Butterfly Count last week I saw over 100 of these robberflies in the fields and gardens.

Thinking if one honey bees makes a teaspoon of honey in its life time then these robberflies are taking away honey from the bees with every kill they make, it has to be pounds of honey.

Giant Robberfly, Promachus bastardii
mating in the garden.
Eating one of my worker bees!

Several of you asked in comments on my last post which lens do I use. All the photos taken in the last post were taken with my Canon G11 point and shoot camera as in the photo below of a robberfly eating an honey bee.
These bees with tongues sticking out were taken with my 180mm macro lens on my Canon 20D. All the other robberfly photos here were taken with the 180mm macro lens with fill flash.
Been wanting to share this photo.

Trying to get inspired to work in the garden. We lost 2 more big camellias and my first 3 camellia babies were not watered and died too. I still have 5 babies that did get watered and are ok. Rain perhaps a little tonight, Sunday and Monday are more hopeful.

The plan in the garden is to make a 6 ft x 8 ft wood frame to turn later into a cold frame. I want to plant carrots, kale and salad greens. 6 x 8 because of the open space I have available, I have left over lumber scraps to make it with.


Karen said...

Oh, there's always something to fight with, isn't there? The robberflies are definitely 'bastardii's' in my book. I've never seen them around here, maybe because they can't take our cold weather or maybe because I'm not observant enough. (You saw my butterfly photography, lol.)

What a shame they are raiding your hives. Is there any way to make life miserable for them? Fantastic photography, as always.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Oh man, I have seen those Robberflies....will see about eliminating any I see.
Love the tongues out on the bees. Too fun.
Sorry about your camellias, rain---PLEASE come!!!!

Lona said...

I have seen those flies before but did not know what they were. I will not feel bad about smacking the next one I see then. LOL!Great closeups!

Anonymous said...

These are great photos and really tell the story. I never saw a robberfly, especially one dining on a bee. Is this really the name, Promachus bastardii? If so, basardii is really fitting.

Anonymous said...

Thought you should know, Blotanical is not allowing your post to be picked and also not reliably sending bloggers to the post. I got there the second time, but then it would not allow me to leave this comment.

wiseacre said...

something new for me, I don't think I've ever seen a robber fly before and didn't know there were bee eating flies.

I guess even Mother Nature can be a birch at times. her bastardii better pray I never see them. I don't usually squish anything but in their case I'll make an exception.

Meredith said...

Love, love, love these photos. Robberflies are fascinating -- and they are fierce predators!

Nature Rambles said...

So sorry to read about your camellias Randy. But these photos of the robberflies are stunning. I don't think I've seen them before. I'd love to be able to take these kinds of pictures some day!:)

Thank you for your comment on the rat snake. Have a great Sunday!

Kim and Victoria said...

Robberflies? Never heard of such a thing. Crazy.

cheap runescape gold said...

Oh yea man, I know of individuals Robberflies....will see with regards to removing any kind of I see. Enjoy the particular tongues from the actual bees. Too fun.

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