The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2008-08-12 02:40:10

DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Sickly Bumble Bees


I have been noticing a few rather sluggish poorly looking bumble bees recently, should I be collecting these in the off chance any thing 'Conopid' may be involved? If so what would be the best way to keep the bees that may reveal the culprit?




#2 2008-08-12 13:22:45

DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 701

Re: Sickly Bumble Bees

I've tried keeping moribund bumbles without success, but I probably got the technique wrong. Based on my more successful experience with other flies, I would keep the bees in a container with netting on top, to ventilate it, and avoid condensation. Put a decent depth of clean compost (I use coir based peat free compost for other diptera - which I have been successful with) in the bottom - about two - three inches. Leave in a shed or garage, out of direct sunlight and wait,  possibly until next summer, to see what happens.

Good luck.

Last edited by conopid (2008-08-13 13:17:45)

Nigel Jones



#3 2008-08-16 01:38:39

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 825

Re: Sickly Bumble Bees

An alternative explanation is that the bees may be affected by toxic nectar - notably produced by lime trees. Dissection of any dead bees should reveal whether or not conopids are involved.

Last edited by Tony Irwin (2008-08-16 01:41:09)



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