Carpenter Bees

Asked May 29, 2017, 2:21 PM EDT

My grandson and I found a dead Carpenter Bee and were looking at it with a magnifying glass when small 'larve' looking little white worms started coming out. Within a hour there were 7 and they came out of various places on the body. Could these little guys be something like fly larve or is it possible that this bee is a female and her young are coming out? Jackson, who is 3 years old, is a budding scientist and lover of all bugs, is so excited he can hardly stop talking about it. Can you help us figure out this mysterious and most wonderful experience? Many thanks! Grammy ( Barbara Cate)

San Diego County California carpenter bees honey bee parasites

2 Responses

There was a story in Scientific American about this predator (Apocephalus borealis) in bees:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/zombie-fly-parasite-killing-honeybees/
They are part of the family of Phorid (sounds like Four-IDD) flies that parasitize bees. They refer to these as zombie flies!
More at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1063
Thanks, G.

Thank you SO much for your response! I brought my infested bee to 'BeeCRAZY' a San Diego beekeeping supplies store near my home. It is so exciting to be a part of this investigation - can't thank you enough for the article and TedTalk! The owners of BeeCRAZY both have bees and we are going to keep learning about this development! Thanks again!!! Barbara 'Grammy' Cate, San Diego, Ca.