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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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July 24, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 24, 2019
 

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IR orter July 24, 2019 WE HAVE IT COVERED IF IT'S PLAYED Two Monroe County resi- dents, Tristan Hunt and Riley McCallum, spent the week leading up to Sunday's Baseball Hall of Fame enshrinement cere- mony living out their own baseball dreams. Hunt and McCallum played in Cooperstown, N.Y the home of the Baseball Hall, for the Georgia Barmen out of Valdosta. The Batmen went 6-0 in pool play and made if to the Elite Eight. The Barmen finished the week 8-1 and ranked fifth out of 104 teams. As a bonus for playing in Cooper- stown, Hunt, McCallum and their teammates were inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame. Hunt is pictured fourth from the right on the back row with his his arm around McCallum, third from right on the back row. (Photo/Ansley Hunt) MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson er is ecently I spotted an insect the sumed was a bumblebee perched on a blade of grass. Since bumble- bees are among the most industrious in- sects I know, I thought it was strange that TERRY W. JOHNSON bumblebee was not collecting nectar and pollen. When I leaned over and took a closer look at the "bumble- bee", it was obvi- ous this was not a bumblebee at all; it was a southern bee killer. The southern bee killer is one of some 1,000 species of robber 109D Patrol Road 478-994-9911 apply and manage yena" aceonoTt online www.lffc.com Honest & Reliable Service Licensed and Insured . Experience You Can Count On Locally Owned & Family Operated Financing Available Service Agreements 7-hank You for Your Businessr. Like us on Faceboo~ ~ ~;~,i=~.~*~, flies that inhabit North America. Over the years, I have seen a number of them. Most are drab and look very much like large, hunch-backed, long- legged houseflies. All have large eyes that seem to face sideways. Their faces are cov- ered with bristles. The fearsome-looking insects also share'one additional trait--a sharp, knife-like proboscis. The robber fly I found was quite different. Its fuzzy body was marked with bold yellow and black bands giving the insect the appearance of a bumble- bee. The southern bee killer is a true bumblebee mimic. As such, some re- searchers believe predators that don't want to contend with the sting of a bumble- bee don't try to make a meal out of a southern bee killer. Who knows? At any rate, like other robber flies the southern bee killer is a consum- mate hunter. It perches on a twig, blade of grass or other structure and waits for prey to fly by. While other robber flies dine on a wide variety of flying insects, the southern bee killer specializes in captur- This may look like a bumblebee, ern bee killer waiting for its Terry Johnson) ing paper wasps, carpenter bees, honeybees and, of course, bumblebees. Once it spots one of these unsuspecting in- sects, it launches itself into the air and tries to chase it down. More often than not, it latches on to its prey in mid-air using its long powerful legs. Once Monday - Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. LOCATED OFF 1-75, EXIT 185, FORSYTH, GA @ THE SHELL STATION Peaches Tomatoes, Watermelon Onions Jams Hot Boiled Peanuts = And More! but it is actually a south- next victim to fly by. (Photo/ it grabs a bee, it drives its dagger-like beak deep into the animal's thorax or head and injects it with a lethal concoction of digestive enzymes and neurotoxins. This deadly brew quickly renders its prey helpless. In a mat- ter of minutes, the potion literally liquefies the bee's body tissues. Once the predator se- cures its meal, it returns to a perch and slurps up the remains of the insect. As soon as it has completed its meal, it discards the insect's exoskeleton and awaits its next victim. Much to the chagrin of beekeepers, a southern The 2019 Mary Persons High School football season is just around the comer, and regular season reserved seats/season tickets for home games will go on sale starting Monday, July 29. There are five regular season home games, and the cost will be $45 per ticket. Please see Mrs. Barbara Dennis in the Mary Persons High School front bee killer will sometimes establish a hunting terri- tory close by a beehive. This allows the hunter to dine on the steady stream of workers that fly in and out of the hive throughout the day. If you happen to spot a southern bee killer perched on a plant in your garden, chances are, if you revisit the location another day, you will see this deadly predator wait- ing for its next meal. In addition, if you search the ground beneath his perch you might even find the remains of former meals. Thank goodness, the southern bee killer does not attack humans. How- ever, should you acciden- tally grab one; it can inflict a painful bite. The next time you spot what appears to be a bumblebee hanging out in your garden on a hot, humid summer day, I urge you to take a second look, as it might not be a bumblebee at all. It just might be one of Georgia's most accomplished aerial predators--the southern bee killer. What a remark- able insect! Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column "Monroe Outdoors' for the Reporter for many years. His book, "A Journey to Discovery," is available at The Reporter. Email him at tjwoodduck@bellsouth. net. office Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. topurchase your tickets. Also, advance general admission tickets for Mary Persons High School home football games will be sold on the day of the game at United Bank and Persons Bank. The ticket price will be $10. The price at the gate will also be $10. .-t- Hunter Benson. 478-283-2861. fors, @fruit@icloud,com