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Should I be worried about this?

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Hello and welcome to the Flow forum.

I am no expert, but that looks like a soldier fly to me - nothing to worry about. What do you think, @JeffH ?

Hi Dawn, I agree that is a soldier fly. It looks like she deposited eggs in the gap in the hive. I wonder if something is wrong inside the hive, for a soldier fly to be attracted to it. We did have a LOT of rain recently, with @2Bee being in Brisbane.

Dawn and Jeff

Thank you. I just started beekeeping at Christmas so am still learning what to worry about, or not.

The hover fly has been hanging around the entrance for a few weeks, thus my concern. The hive looked fine when I inspected it just before the rain. I failed to find the Queen - but did see recent eggs.

David

Sorry, I should have said soldier fly

Hi David, we also get Syrphid (hover) flies hanging around, mainly native bees. The BSFs only live for around 6-8 days, so therefore it must be new ones all the time. They are attracted to anything associated with bee hives that is wet & rotting. Even if there is stuff in the bottom tray that’s going moldy, I imagine that will attract them.

They love to lay eggs in slumgum. Slumgum is a residue from processing beeswax. You can have slumgum in a bucket with a lid on, the soldier flies will lay eggs on the outside of the lid. As long as the lid is not completely airtight, the eggs will hatch before the maggots crawl under the lid, then into the slumgum, turning into quite a sizable maggot, I guess hoping someone removes the lid, so they can escape into the ground to comple their life cycle.

I used to find the large maggots in the buckets with lids on & always wondered how the flies got in to lay the eggs. After a bit of reading, the answer was there.

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Jeff

Thank you again

I conduct regular brood inspections, but had never thought to look in the bottom tray! It was almost full of grey moths and their cocoons, with several large maggots (caterpillars?) as well. Not what I would call “slime”, but with the potential to attract any number of nasties, I guess. All clean now.

David.

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Wax moth?

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Hi David, definitely wax moth. It wouldn’t surprise me if the smell coming out of there attracted the BSFs. I think it’s a good idea to check & clean the bottom tray once a fortnight. I use solid floors, which the bees keep clean. The brood cappings plus bits of pollen finish up in the tray which attracts wax moths. Hive beetles are also attracted to that, especially if there’s a bit of water mixed with it.

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