Do Dragonflies Eat Bees and Threaten Beehives?

Do Dragonflies Eat Bees and Threaten Beehives?

People who are curious about dragonflies often wonder if they eat bees or not. Many beekeepers ask or get asked this question. Are you one of those people too? Great, you’re in luck because today we’ll answer all questions related to this topic.

So, do dragonflies eat bees and threaten beehives?

Yes, dragonflies do eat bees as well as other insects. They are mostly dependable on other animals and insects. That’s why dragonflies are called carnivores. Dragonflies don’t differ anything when it comes to their meals. They can devour butterflies, beetles, mosquitoes, spiders, or anything mercilessly.

Now this information can be quite indistinct for a curious mind. We’ve got an entire article to enlighten you Dragonflies eating bees and if they threaten beehives. Let’s dive into the depth of the details-

How Ferocious Of Predators Dragonflies Are?

Dragonflies are quite intelligent and strong creatures. According to scientists, they are the deadliest and most successful hunters in the animal kingdom. They have very sharp teeth and strong jaws that help them to devour small insects and bees. 

Dragonflies are so ferocious because they can plan and film their target insect bodies in slow motion. According to that movement, they measure the head and body of the insects and then attack them. Also, they have an excellent flying skill that is often compared to helicopters. It helps them to fly high and catch their prey easily.

Are Bees Easy Preys For Dragonflies?

Bees keep moving very fast. But if they are on a hive of a tree or shrub, they are easy to hunt. Moreover, Dragonflies have the best kind of hunting skill. Most often they target the smaller bees. And they measure their movement before attacking. So, bees are easy prey for dragonflies.

3 Kinds Of Dragonflies: Do They Eat Bees?

There are more than 5000 species of dragonflies. Dragonflies belong to the Odonata order. This means ‘toothed one’. Dragonflies have very strong and sharp teeth that make them ferocious hunters. 

We have divided the Dragonfly Kingdom into 3 Major families. We’ve also discussed more on their behaviors. These are-

  • Aeshnoidea 
  • Cordulegastroidea
  • Libellulidae

Do Aeshnoidae Dragonflies Eat Bees?

Yes, they do eat bees. Aeshnidae is the first superfamily and largest group of dragonflies. It is the most common group of dragonflies worldwide. Aeshnoidea is also referred to as giant dragonflies and is commonly known as hawkers.

Source: Aeshnoidea – Bing images

How Many Bees Can Aeshnoidea Dragonfly Eat?

Aeshnoidea is the largest family of dragons. Since they are the largest group of dragonflies and have good flying skills, they can easily hunt insects. Aeshnoidea dragonflies can eat 40-100 bees per day.

But in their early days, they lived near water. So, they depend on other insects more than bees at that time. However, adult aeshnoidea dragonflies are quite fond of honey bees. So they can consume a good amount of honey bees on a daily basis.

Can Aeshnoidea Dragonflies Be A Threat For Beehive? 

No, they are not a threat to beehives. Rather climate change, pesticides, beekeeping practices are the main threat to beehives. Though dragonflies don’t eat them in a major amount. So, eating bees creates a balance in the ecosystem. Bears, wasps, crab spiders are more threatening for beehives. In North America, where aeshnoidea are found in a large number. They can be a threat to beehives in that particular area. Otherwise, they are not that threatening to them.

Do Cordulegastroidea Dragonflies Eat Bees?

Yes, Cordulegastroidea dragonflies eat bees. Cordulegastroidea is the second-largest superfamily of dragonflies. This type of dragonfly is hardly visible around us. They like to hide and they spend most of the time flying. Honey bees are one of the most favorite prey that they enjoy hunting.

Source: Cordulegastroidea – Bing images

How Many Bees Can Cordulegastroidea Dragonfly Eat?

Cardolegastroidea dragonflies are comparatively smaller than other dragonflies. They can consume 30-50 bees per day. Larval dragonflies of cordulegastroidea family are also like smaller bees. 

Can Cordulegastroidea Dragonflies Be A Threat To Beehive?

Cordulegastroidea can be a threat to beehives. Especially in the Northeastern regions of the U.S. such as Florida and Texas. They are found in a large number in those areas. But they don’t devour dragonflies in a major amount. So, the threat is not equal everywhere in the world. 

Do Libelluiloide Dragonflies Eat Bees?

Yes, Libelluiloide dragonflies eat honey bees. Libelluiloide dragonflies are another largest group of dragonflies in the world. There are more than 1000 species of this dragonfly. They are referred to as an opportunist feeder. That means they will catch any prey they find. 

Honey bees are the most common prey for this kind of dragonflies. Their hunting skills are the best among all the species. So, they can easily catch any bee within their hold.

Source: Libellulidae – Bing images

How Many Bees Can Libelluiloide Dragonfly Eat?

Libelluiloide can eat the maximum number of bees. They can easily consume around 50-120 honey bees per day. Adult dragonflies can eat a large number of bees and other insects. But larvae don’t eat much.

Can Libelluiloide Dragonflies Be A Threat For Beehive?

Yes, Libelluiloide can be a threat to the beehives. They are found in a huge number all over the world. And they can consume bees in a major amount. So, it can be a threat for beehives, especially when they attack in groups. 

Other Kinds Of Dragonflies And Do They Eat Bees?

There are other kinds of dragonflies as well. They are- darners, saddlebags, and gliders. The adult dragonflies of these kinds are dependable on butterflies, mosquitoes, and bees. 

So the answer is yes, they do eat bees. Though the larvae feed more on small insects and other flies. 

Do Dragonflies Help Controlling Beehive Population?

Bee farmers keep their queen bees in an isolated cage to control the population. But bee queens can’t live in the cage for more than 3-4 days. If they are kept for a week or so for reproduction, they can’t survive there. But when they are kept as per the recommended timespan, the queen bee reproduces. So the population gradually increases

Dragonflies, on the other hand, consume honey bees as they are quite fond of them. This results in a decrease in the population of bees. However, a greater number of bees are reproduced by the queen bee if they are kept in an ideal environment. As a result, the beehive population becomes balanced.

So yes, dragonflies can help control the beehive population.

When To Know If Too Many Dragonflies Is A Threat For Beehive

It is very important to know when too many dragonflies are a threat to beehives. Especially for the professional beekeepers. If anyone wants to practice beehives, before starting the preparations. It is an essential fact to know for them. Too many flying dragonflies around the beehives can be threatening. 

Also, dragonflies destroy plants, flowers, and vegetables. It can cause loss to common people as well.

Dragonflies come out with a large number of groups during summer. At that time of the year, it can be a threat for beehives. Also, in North America, China, and Mexico dragonflies are found the most. People over there need to know about dragonfly precautions to save their honey bee hives as well.

How To Prevent Dragonfly Invasion?

Prevention of dragonflies is very important. Especially in the areas where they are found in a large number. Well, we have mentioned some tips to help you get rid of dragonflies-

Tip 1: Drying Up the Water

Dragonflies spend their earlier days in water. They love to live around swamps, ponds, and water areas. So, the first thing you need to do is dry up these water sources around you. If you are determined to get rid of dragonflies, it is one of the most effective ways to prevent dragonfly invasion. 

Tip 2: Cleaning Surroundings 

Swamps and a lot of plants attract dragonflies. So if your backyard is full of plants and grass, you need to keep it clean. Cleaning can help you get rid of not only dragonflies but also other insects. 

Tip 3: Reducing their foods

You can never finish killing dragonflies. And there is no control over their numbers. So one easy way to get rid of them is to reduce their food insects. Alternatively, you can try increasing insects that can hunt dragonflies. 

These are the easiest ways to prevent dragonfly invasion. Especially people who work with bees and sell honey, suffer much because of the dragonflies. They need to take the necessary steps to save their business from dragonflies. It is also very beneficial for the farmers. We have to follow this in our household and residential areas as well. 


Do Dragonflies Eat Bumblebees?

No. As dragonflies can eat all kinds of honey bees. And bumblebees are not honey bees. They are larger in size and have more hair on the body. Bumblebees are also robust and fuzzy in nature. So they are not a good meal for dragonflies.

Do Dragonflies Eat Carpenter Bees?

Answer: Dragonflies mainly eat honey bees. And carpenter bees are not as similar as honey bees. But they are also very common species of bees. Woodpeckers usually hunt the carpenter bees. But dragonflies don’t eat carpenter bees.

Do Dragonflies Scare Bees?

Answer: Yes, dragonflies do scare bees. They are fond of honey bees. And bees are one of the most common meals of dragonflies. So, while hunting they scare bees with their fierce nature.


That’s all we had on dragonflies eating bees. We hope we were able to help you with our discussion.

Let us know if any of this helped you. Have a time beekeeping!

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