Friday, 13 April 2012

Another Bee Fly

Bee Fly, Bombylius major.  Hayes Common, 29 March 2012.
Bee Fly, Bombylius major.  Hayes Common, 29 March 2012.
Not long ago I got my first photo of a Bee Fly; it was only the second time I had seen one.  But there have been lots around this year, so I have seen many more since then, and this is my best photo so far.

I used to think they were rather jolly and fluffy bumblers, hovering among flowers and eating pollen and nectar. But this one looks a little more sinister, with stilt-like legs that remind me of this, a hunched back and a long, long pointed snout that looks like some sort of stinger.

Well, the proboscis is innocuous; that is for drinking nectar. But they do have an unsavoury lifestyle. They flick their eggs into the nests of solitary bees, wasps and beetles. When the Bee Fly larvae hatch they eat the larvae they find there.

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