Trichodes apiarus Linnaeus, 1758
Common names: Bee Beetle [En], Clairon des abeilles [Fr], Bijenwolf [Nl], Gemeiner Bienenkäfer [De]
Palaios Panteleimonas, PIERIA ● Greece
Description: It is an hairy small beetle with shining blue or black head and scutellum. The adults grow up to 9–16 millimetres (0.35–0.63 in). The hind femora are distinctly thickened, the elytral suture is usually not darkened. The elongated elytra show a bright red colour with black bands. The pronotum is glossy, constricted basally, densely covered with long erect, red brown hairs.
This species can easily be distinguished from Trichodes alvearius for the black terminal band reaching the apex of elytra.
Biology: At the larval stage, these beetles are parasites of bees (hence the name “apiarius”), as the adults lay the eggs in the nests of solitary bees (Osmia and Megachile species) or in hives of honey bees, eating larvae and nymphs of their victims.
Adults can be encountered from May through June on the flowers, mainly Apiaceae, feeding on the pollen. However, they integrate their diet with small insects that they actively hunt.
Habitat: Sunny and warm places.
Distribution: Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, North Africa.
Gerstmeier R., 1998. Checkered Beetles, Illustrated Key to the Cleridae of the Western Palaeartic, Margraf Verlag, Germany. ISBN 3-8236-1175-5
Wikipedia, Trichodes apiarius