Bee-eating beetle

As adult beetle, Trichodes apiarius (bee-eating beetle) can be found from June to August. It can reach a length of up to 15 millimetres and differs from Trichodes alvearius by its black elytra.

As can be seen in the pictures, the bee-eating beetle has a preference for umbelliferous plants. This plant family includes carrot and parsley as well as some popular ornamental plants such as the sea holly species (genus Eryngium).

Bee eating beetle and Italian striped bug
Bee-eating beetle and Italian striped-bug on the inflorescence of Eryngium giganteum (miss willmott’s ghost).

The beetles not only eat nectar and pollen, they also seem to enjoy smaller insects.

The larvae live in the nests of some solitary bees or in the hives of the honey bee. They are said to feed on the larvae and pupae of these bees.

Bee eating beetle on Eryngium agavifolium
Bee-eating beetle on Eryngium agavifolium (agave-leaved sea holly).

Origin/distribution: Asia, Europe, North Africa

Habitats: Forest margins, shrub borders, dry meadows, sand pits, the beetles are found from June to August preferably in warm and sunny locations in flowers, where they hunt small insects or eat pollen and nectar.

Trichodes apiarius mating
Mating Trichodes apiarius Ammi visnaga (toothpick-plant)
bee eating beetle on the inflorescence of a wild carrot
Bee-eating beetle on the inflorescence of a wild carrot (Daucus carota).

Categories: Beetles, Bugs & Cockroaches | Insects