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Author Topic: Love bugs???  (Read 705 times)
Intheswamp
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« on: September 03, 2012, 09:49:16 PM »

I'm not sure of the interaction between what we call "love bugs" and honey bees.  Over the last week or so we've see these nuisance bugs appear in our area.  I've been seeing a few around the bee hives but today they seemed to have multiplied in number and lots were crawling on the outside of the hives and flying in the air around the hives.  The adult love bugs forage for nectar and I figure that they are attracted to the hives from the fresh nectar being stored and the honey being cured.  The bees don't like them close to the entrance but do not appear to harass them if they are a fair distance from the entrance.  I saw a couple of incidences where a bee grabbed a love bug couple and hauled them off.  Saw a few more bees tackle some that had landed on the porch and fall to the ground clutching them while what appeared to be attempting to sting them.  The only entrance into my hives are the main bottom entrances...no access through the top (screened or propolised) so I'm not concerned with but the main entrances.

Other than being greatly aggravating, does anyone know of a problem that love bugs cause the bees or the honey?  Ed

Here's some shots of what I saw today:

All the bugs you see that are not on the porch are love bugs.  They seemed to be drawn to the top cover where honey bee aroma is coming from...


Notice the two love bugs on the front of the hive....


I wish the shot was better but those two honey bees you see close to the area where the love bugs were have grabbed the love bugs and are beginning to fly away with them.  You can see one of the bees legs sticking out at an odd angle as it grabs the love bug...
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 09:57:11 PM »

First off, what is a “love bug”?  Hard to tell from the photo but they look a little like box elder bugs.

I haven’t ever seen bug likes that over my hives.  Maybe they’re attracted to that 2nd super?  Smiley
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hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 10:27:15 PM »

Love bugs are a real pest here. They mutiply rapidly and fill the air each spring and again in fall. In the spring they will completely cover the saw palmetto blooms and the gallberry blooms and the bees won't work them...something about the scent they put off. In the spring they go for the goldenrod and can ruin a good flow. They do millions of dollars worth of damage to car paint jobs every year.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Intheswamp
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 10:29:23 PM »

They are, unfortunately, a fixture of the south...I can remember when no one around here had ever heard of them.  Then folks started talking about running into them while traveling through the Florida panhandle.  Then they moved gradually northward.  I'm not sure how far north they have traveled.  They come out a little in the spring, but the big "flight" is in the late summer or early fall and will last a few weeks....they fly slowly, almost hovering, if they bump into you they cling to you, it's nothing to see somebody walk by with a couple crawling on them or stuck in their hair, be careful if you open your mouth and they're flying   Lips Sealed , they don't bite or sting, they're normally coupled with their mate, nothing (that I know of) will eat the adults, they forage for nectar, if they hit your windshield and you turn your wipers on you will have a very smeared up windshield, if you leave them on your car for very long before washing it they will turn into a form of NASA epoxy, if you leave them on a bit longer they can eat holes in the tiles on the space shuttle.    Yeah....real aggravating bugs!!!!  Here's a picture of a pair from off the internet...

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hardwood
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 10:35:34 PM »

Yet another invasive specie run amok. We only had them bad in the fall (always the beginning of Sept) until about 10 years ago. Now the build up in spring is strong too...can wreck a spring honey crop if they coincide with the flow.

Why do they call them love bugs?..."cause they fly "united".

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Intheswamp
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 10:38:11 PM »

Scott, have you ever had problems with them trying to get into your hives?  I'm hoping the love bugs are gone soon, they've been around a couple of weeks and seem to have become more numerous in the last few days...maybe they're coming to a peak.  I've seen some spotty blooming of goldenrod so I'm hoping the love bugs are gone before the main goldenrod flow starts.  Aster should be coming online shortly as should tar weed.

Ed
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