Phorid Fly – Pest

Pests to native stingless bee colonies!

About half the size of a stingless bee and they move very quickly, jumping around inside the hive box. The stingless bees do seem to chase the flies but the flies are too fast to be caught. The flies will run around the inside the colony laying eggs everywhere which are tiny little white things as shown in the photos below. You may not even notice them normally.

Unfortunately there’s no easy solution to get rid of Phorid Fly. A good strong colony is usually able to defend against pests. It’s more likely they’ll destroy a weak colony and by the time you notice a problem the flies have already caused major damage. If you notice the flies jumping around on the front of the hive or you can see them through a viewing panel, you will have to open up the hive and inspect further.

If the hive/colony is fully infested and there’s a big mess and no bees there’s nothing you can do to save the colony. You can place the hive box or layers in the freezer to kill any flies or larvae.

If there’s only a few flies and white eggs scattered around in the colony you may be able to save the colony but it can be labour intensive. An observation window on top of the colony helps a lot here because you can leave the colony in tact while opening the window and picking out the eggs and chasing the flies out.

Some methods other people have tried: 1. Open the viewing window at night and the flies may fly out with the help of a torch. 2. Placing a small open container of vinegar inside the colony to trap the flies.

All the methods of removing the flies may or may not work, but the main issue is the little white eggs that are laid throughout the colony and then any larvae that are wriggling around. The only way is to physically remove them. You can do a short session each day, going back the next day to find any new larvae wriggling around, but yes, it’s labour intensive and may not be practical for some people with lots of hives.

Removing some eggs for observation

I removed a few eggs from the colony and placed them in to a small area to observe them. You can see how small the eggs are with one being beside the pick tool.

Previous colony that was destroyed by Phorid Fly

Nothing can be done at this point except place the colony in the freezer to kill the larvae.

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