A scientific note on a black soldier fly (Stratiomyidae: Hermetia illucens) infestation within a western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony


Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) were discovered in a weak honey bee colony in Hailey, Idaho. The larvae were localized to the brood area and caused the affected comb to putrefy. Further communication with the beekeeper revealed that the colony recently returned from California and that the larvae likely originated there as well. In California, H. illucens are common and exist sympatrically with honey bees, yet there have been very few reports of damage. We therefore believe H. illucens are unlikely to cause damage to healthy colonies or significantly impact the apiculture industry. This report is the first published observation of H. illucens in Idaho and shows conclusively for the first time that H. illucens associates with honey bee colonies in North America.

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Data availability

The dataset generated during the current study is available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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We gratefully acknowledge William J. Turner for the initial identification of the larvae and for critically reviewing the manuscript. We also thank Scott Razee for notifying Washington State University when he discovered the H. illucens larvae in his hive. Financial support was granted by the American Association of Professional Apiculturists.

Author information




BH conceived this research and designed this project. BH, CA, and MH wrote the paper and participated in the revisions of it. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Connor Anthony Auth.

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CA, MH, and BH declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Additional information

Une note scientifique sur l’infestation des colonies d’abeille domestique de l’Ouest ( Apis mellifera ) par la mouche-soldat noire Hermetia illucens (Stratiomyidae).

mouche soldat noire / Hermetia illucens / abeille domestique / infestation / larve.

Eine wissenschaftliche Notiz über den Befall von Völkern der westlichen Honigbiene ( Apis mellifera ) durch die Schwarze Soldatenfliege Hermetia illucens (Stratiomyidae).

Schwarze Soldatenfliege / Hermetia illucens / Honigbiene / Befall / Larven.

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Auth, C.A., Hauser, M. & Hopkins, B.K. A scientific note on a black soldier fly (Stratiomyidae: Hermetia illucens) infestation within a western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony. Apidologie (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-021-00844-y

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  • Black soldier fly
  • Hermetia illucens
  • Honey bee
  • Infestation
  • Larvae