Bee wolf: a description of the philant wasp, nutrition and lifestyle, what is dangerous

Bee wolf: a description of the philant wasp, nutrition and lifestyle, what is dangerous

Among the predatory insects, there are pests of domestic honey bees. In the middle lane and in the south of Russia, there are bee wolves - insects that look like ordinary wasps. They prey on bees, causing damage to beekeeping, reducing the population of beneficial insects. Consider the description, lifestyle, nutrition, breeding characteristics of pests. How to deal with them to protect the bees.

Description and origin

The name of this pest is the European philanthropist. It belongs to the sand wasp family. The size of the insect is 8-17 mm, while the females are larger than the males. In appearance, it resembles an ordinary wasp, but its head is larger, the color of the wasp body is bright yellow with black stripes.Philanthus has strong jaws that are needed to fight bees. Females have a sting that males don't.

Food and lifestyle

Food for adult insects, as for other wasps, is in flowers, females, except for nectar, feed on the contents of the goiter of their prey. But they hunt bees not only for this purpose, but in order to bring food to the larvae.

The bee wolf arranges its dwelling in the sand, prefers to choose the slopes of ravines, ditches, which are better warmed by the sun. Digs minks up to 1 m deep, branched, each branch ends with a chamber for breeding larvae.

Philantists find their home thanks to the ability to memorize many landmarks that show them the location of the mink. They memorize large and small objects, they determine the location of their home. If the wasp is far from the mink, it focuses on trees, the outlines of the area, flying closer, takes into account blades of grass, pebbles and similar small objects.

Reproduction and development

Females lay eggs on trapped and paralyzed bees. The larva develops and feeds until it turns into a pupa. Pupae hibernate in the ground, adult insects emerge from them by summer.

Only adults hunt bees, for a period of 1-1.5 months, which is their lifespan, each wasp can catch and destroy up to a hundred honey bees.

How a philanthropist hunts: noticing a potential victim, the wasp stops over it and navigates by smell. If the smell indicates that it is a bee, it attacks it, clasps it with its paws, and pierces the chitin in the lower part of the head with its sting. The poison paralyzes the bee, it cannot move and resist. Then the philanthropist presses the belly of the insect with his jaws and eats a drop of nectar that has flowed out of the goiter.It is believed to be poisonous to the larvae. After that, the female carries the bee into the burrow, drags it into the brood chamber, where she lays an egg on it. The larva that emerged from it gradually eats the bee, then moves on to the next one.

During the productive period, the female philanthus lays 6 to 8 eggs. Bacteria live on the antennae of the female bee wolf, which help her fight molds that can appear in the brood chamber and kill the larvae. With the secret of the antennae, the wasp coats the walls of the chamber of canned bees, thereby increasing their shelf life.

What is dangerous bee wolf

Insects are dangerous for beekeeping because in the summer, during the period of honey collection by bees, they destroy many he althy individuals engaged in honey harvesting. In order for the philanthus larva to fully develop, the female must prepare 4-6 bees for each.

When the wolf bee spreads widely, it causes significant damage to beekeeping.

What to do if bitten

A bee wolf can accidentally sting an animal or a person. The poison causes the rapid development of allergies, a swelling appears at the site of the bite, redness, burning, the affected area is very sore. Symptoms usually disappear within 1-2 days. If the bite caused severe irritation, there are signs of a violent allergic reaction, in case of a sharp deterioration in the condition, you should consult a doctor.

Methods of struggle

The bee wolf hunts at a distance of 5 km from the colony. If there are apiaries in this zone, the hives should be transported at least 7-10 km to another place. Among other methods of dealing with predatory insects: plowing wastelands to destroy wasp minks, sowing grasses, pouring insecticide solutions into minks.

Philant, or bee wolf, can cause problems for beekeepers in case of mass reproduction. Each individual can destroy up to a hundred worker bees over the summer, weakening bee colonies. The beekeeper not only loses he althy insects, but also does not get honey at the end of the season. There are few effective methods of dealing with harmful insects, the main one is the transportation of the apiary to a safe place where the wasps cannot reach.

This page in other languages: