Vampire Bees

Vampire bee from the 1931 Dracula movie.

Vampire bee from the 1931 Dracula movie.I’ve been trying to get a picture or video of the bees on my patio, with no success. No matter how many bees are around, I always wind up with a picture completely devoid of bees; in fact, I don’t even see them when I look through the viewfinder. This is probably because I’m taking the pictures from a distance (because they’re bees, and they’ve already stung me once), or because I’m not a very good photographer, or because my cellphone camera just isn’t up to the job of photographing small insects flying rapidly with bad lighting conditions from a distance.

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But no matter how hard I try to rationalize, I just can’t ignore the fact that the simplest explanation is that I’m dealing with vampire bees.
This would explain a number of things:

  • The bees don’t show up in photos or video.
  • I’ve never seen their reflection in a mirror.
  • They don’t like garlic.
  • They’ve exhibited unnatural behavior; specifically, stinging me without provocation.

I found that last one particularly troubling, so I decided to do some research. It turns out that googling “vampire bee” yields about 1370 hits, all of which seem to be about apian vampires (as opposed to, say, some sort of competition in which people try to spell vampire names or answer vampire trivia questions). But apart from one site with a picture of a vampire bee emerging from a bee-sized coffin, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of practical information out there.

So I guess I’m on my own. I have no idea what the long-term effects are of a vampire bee sting, but so far I haven’t noticed any unusual cravings for honey, pollen, or human blood, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Update, July 20: Reader retmeishka posted a link to a picture of a vampire bee biting the neck of a flower. This provides us with an important new bit of information: apparently it is possible to photograph a vampire bee, but only when it’s feeding.

Update, July 27: Apparently, the vampires in Twilight are butterflies. Of course, this only applies to sparkly vampire humans; vampire bees are a different species entirely.

The bee saga concludes with this vampire bee update.

66 thoughts on “Vampire Bees

  1. I think that you should write a book. It would easily outsell the twilight series…Maybe…Hopefully! Anyway I like the idea.

  2. There are a lot of odd bugs in general it appears; my best friend keeps seeing these tiny ‘alien bugs’ around her house, and when she pokes or blows on them, they ‘crumble’ apart. I saw one on my arm, and thinking it was parhaps an ant with a heavy load, I of course, squashed it. Only to discover that it actually made my arm burn like it was acid, causing a temporary red mark =o. Every year about 200 new species of bugs are discovered.. Perhaps vampire bees are next B-)

  3. Google “nectar robbers” or “nectar robbing.” I took a photo of a vampire bee (and I got lucky, it allowed itself to show up on camera!) biting into the neck of a flower to get the nectar, instead of entering through the front of the flower. When you watch them up close, you can actually see them sticking their sharp, piercing little tongue probe through the stem. It’s fascinating. Vampire bees are real.

  4. When my son was much younger, he once told me out of the blue that “zombie bees” would be much scarier than regular bees or zombies for three reasons: first, because the name sounded weird (which he demonstrated by saying “zom-beee-beee”) second, because their stings would probably hurt worse than regular bees, and third, because it would be far harder to keep them out of the house by simply boarding up the doors and windows like people do with regular zombies.

  5. Loved your vampire bee article. Hope the critters are not too close to your entry/exit doors. I’ve heard of some scary bee behavior in the last few years, such as building hives in walls of homes and stuffing them full of honey that eventually rots and ruins the house! Plus the buzzing in the walls of thousands of bees was very annoying to the human occupants. Nevertheless, we “can’t live without them, and (paraphrasing here) we can’t live with them in our house”! ~the hamster

  6. I was wondering about vampire taxi drivers – do their cars show up on speed cameras! Anyways – vampire bees? Brilliant! Though probably not good on a sunny day day in the garden.

    Béela Lugosi – “children of the night – thrum to me”.

    Heard a nice joke about bees the other day – “Dad, what’s a wasp!” Reply: “It’s a gay bee, son”.

    All bee-ed out now!

  7. So, if they’re “Vampire Bees”, if they sting you, do you…become a Vampire Bee? Or do you slowly turn yellow, start liking flowers abnormally much and start shrinking before you’re supposed to?

    Makes me wonder ^.^

  8. Vampire Bees…haha I like this post. I’ve been stung once in my life and it was by a wasp that swelled my cheek up to look like I had stuck a golf in my mouth. Good luck with them!

  9. What other possible conclusion could there be-e?
    Hate to say it, but please, for the sake of all humanity, isolate yourself. And not just a fenced-in area -there’s always the miniscule but terrifying chance that you’ll sprout wings and defy every known law of aviation.
    You will be missed. Probably moreso by people who know you, but I’ll be sad for a a second or -Shiny thing! Bye!

  10. I don’t know about vampire ‘bees’, but vampire hornets are quite possible! They infect insects with larvae and I know I saw it through Discovery channel. Maybe try some Off to see if that keeps them away from you, but that may just be mosquitoes though.

  11. In my old house I had been often attacked by bees in the night. They were trying to enter the house and sting me. If I closed the window, they wood just start hitting into it. It was very scary.
    At first I thought they were attracted by the light, but these incidents were happening mostly with lights switched off!
    Have any of you seen bees flying in the middle of the night?

    There might be some other kind of bees, like already mentioned zombee bees, ghost bees, possessed bees, vampire bees, devil bees, canibal bees and even blood thirsty stinging evil vampire possessed zombee canibal ghost bees mutant aliens.

  12. It didn’t occur to me as greatly until I read the 4 similarities you pointed out between Dracula and these still-extant distant relatives…
    Truly a great observation and nice post.
    I will be careful not to become a vampire (or a zom-bee) if I see a beehive anywhere close by… :-)

  13. Ouch, I laughed so much I think one of my wings might be crumpled^^
    The etymological meaning of my name is bee, so I’ve seen much and much things on bees, but that’s the funniest I’ve ever read so far!
    I loved the pictures, the one with the flower and the ‘vampire’ going to ‘sleep’ in its coffin^^ But I totally understand the non-picture policy of those things. Seriously, the only bee I ever managed to get to be(e) in a picture was dead! And even, the picture was blurred (which either mean the ‘spell’ still half works once they’re dead, or I’m a poor photographer. I’d bet the latest) Plus I have a real bee/wasp phobia despite never having been bitten in my life (yet don’t want to try it either)
    The only advice I can think of right now is : eat garlic, may not be effective on vampires, but I’m not sure a bee can endure the smell -_-‘ that, or toothpicks. But you better be good at darts^^ Before you get one.=)

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