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Robber Flies and honey bees


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I would assume that robber flies are not really a problem for hives due to the sheer number of bees. But of course that also could provide a ready source of food for most of the year. Is it a common problem, if at all for New Zealand beekeepers?

 

There are more than 7000 species of robber fly worldwide. New Zealand's specimens are large up to 23mm long. and are common in forest clearings in the North and South Islands.

They have bristles on their legs and their eyes are wide apart giving them excellent 3D vision.

This fly has a bright yellow structure underneath each wing called a haltere, a reduced hindwing which stabilises the robber fly in flight. These halteres operate as vibrating structure gyroscopes.

They perch on vegetation before dashing out to grab prey. They will take anything from ants to butterflies even bees. Notice their large claws that they use to hold onto the insects they attack by diving onto the backs of flying insects where they bite the soft part of their neck paralysing them by injecting a neurotoxin. This is followed by digestive enzymes which liquefy the internal organs. The fly then sucks out the insides of their victim. They lay their eggs in soil or on plants. The maggots live in the soil or rotting vegetation.

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I would assume that robber flies are not really a problem for hives due to the sheer number of bees. But of course that also could provide a ready source of food for most of the year. Is it a common problem, if at all for New Zealand beekeepers?

 

There are more than 7000 species of robber fly worldwide. New Zealand's specimens are large up to 23mm long. and are common in forest clearings in the North and South Islands.

They have bristles on their legs and their eyes are wide apart giving them excellent 3D vision.

This fly has a bright yellow structure underneath each wing called a haltere, a reduced hindwing which stabilises the robber fly in flight. These halteres operate as vibrating structure gyroscopes.

They perch on vegetation before dashing out to grab prey. They will take anything from ants to butterflies even bees. Notice their large claws that they use to hold onto the insects they attack by diving onto the backs of flying insects where they bite the soft part of their neck paralysing them by injecting a neurotoxin. This is followed by digestive enzymes which liquefy the internal organs. The fly then sucks out the insides of their victim. They lay their eggs in soil or on plants. The maggots live in the soil or rotting vegetation.

Hi Grant,iv just been told that down the west coast of the south island there is a really big problem with some sort of fly raiding and killing hives.Beeks are loosing hives at an alarming rate.just what iv been told from a good sorce.anyone els hearing this.?

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Would be very interested to hear more. I very much doubt the problem would be robber flies though - you never get them in high enough numbers. They are pretty awesome flies to see in action.

the problem from what iv been told is that ever since the wasps were wiped out this fly has gaind in numbers and is now a big problem.

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Where have the wasps been wiped out. ???

Doc have been killing all the wasps they can for a few years here in the nelson lakes and down the west coast.At one point no one could walk in the national parks here due to wasps,attacing in swarms.was really bad,people got close to death from swarms of the ######s.

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There are more than 7000 species of robber fly worldwide. New Zealand's specimens are large up to 23mm long. and are common in forest clearings in the North and South Islands.

23mm long? Any open season on them?

 

Pump shotty perhaps?

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