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Be these bees, or be these, they're bee-flies!


All this summer there has been a buzzing in the garden…

Tiny, little, furry bees have been all over the verbena bonariensis and the nepeta…

…but, “Are they bees?”, I thought…no fat back legs, no pollen on their furry, and, far too small, little, broad bodies…the wings are not right…

…and, they seem to hover…!!

Here are a couple of them on the nepeta…

…there’s one with a stripey bum…

…and one which is just, kind of, honey-coloured…

The honey-coloured ones seem to prefer the verbena…

I love the landing gear…

I’ve never seen them before! Ever!!!

So, you know me…I had to dig…

…and…they’re bee-flies! A species of hover-fly, of which, there are many varieties! (Please excuse my non-scientific description…I am just pleased to meet them!)

At first, I thought that they might be boys and girls…but, no…

…they are two different species!

Which? I don’t really know…

…but, how can they both, just, turn up like that???

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Fascinating things Karen - I love it when something different comes along, like you I'm always inquisitive and like to find out what they are.
The length of those legs look like they are made for hopping rather than flying, don't you think?
The more pollinators the better :)

1 Aug, 2013


I thought they be Cornish bees, K.Only find habitats in Celtic areas with Cornish connections.

1 Aug, 2013


nice clear photos. i had stripes on my bum when i was a lad the headmaster put them there more than once i might add

1 Aug, 2013


How lovely to have new guests, Karen! Let's hope they see off some of the nasties, like other hoverflies.

1 Aug, 2013


They've got that proboscis (?) all the time doesn't doesn't roll up or down...and they buzz bees! And, there, suddenly, loads of them!!!
But, they stop and look at you, in mid-air, like hover-flies do! How come, in the ten years that I've been here, I haven't, evdowner, had one in the garden before?

Wall, then, thay moight jist bee Cawrnish bees, Jay...
(sorry, sorry, sorry!...that looks terrible written down! Please, don't hold it against me, my luvver! :)))xxx

Thank you Snoopy! :)
I only ever got stripes on my hand, when I was young...we had the "toss", in Scotland...a big, split belt...which could could crack desks...needless to say...I only got it once...
...and, I didn't tell my mum...or I'd have been in worse trouble!!!

1 Aug, 2013


That's really fascinating Karen, lovely little things arnt they. Great photo shots as well :-)

1 Aug, 2013


That belt wiz sair!!!! Had it many a time - never told either ;)

I think this summer is an exceptional one Karen, here anyway!!! You would never believe the amount of butterflies flitting around.
Maybe condition are just right for them at the minute.
Take a look here

1 Aug, 2013


Lovely clear photo's Karen. We had one trapped in the sun-room earlier in the year and like you thought it was a bee. Hubby caught it to put it out and we discovered something neither of us had seen before (and I'm quite old and always have been interested in insects!) so I did a bit of research and discovered it was a bee-fly!
Having seen that one we of course then saw others over the next few weeks, but it does seem strange they have suddenly appeared. They look sort of alien or like something put together from a dragonfly, bee and a strange creature with a long nose!

1 Aug, 2013


Great photos of them but I agree......its the length of those legs! and the proboscis!

Imagining a giant one on Dr Who..........

2 Aug, 2013


Don't those back legs held out at a funny angle look awkward? Do you think they're being used as stabilisers? And that huge proboscis - it looks like an insect unicorn. I've never seen these before - absolutely fascinating and brilliant photography. I've been trying to get a decent shot of a humming-bird hawk moth, but the pesky little critturs won't sit still, or when they do, my camera's in a safe place I've forgotten for the moment........................

2 Aug, 2013


Great photos Karen, lovely furry little bodies.

2 Aug, 2013


Hallo everyone and thank you for your lovely comments! :)

They're quite cute, Mel, don't you think? It's funny to think of a fly being! :)
They must have seen a "gap in the market", somehow. Let's hope that it was at the expense of something nasty, ...and not the honey bees. Come to think of it, I haven't actually seen many hover-flies this year, at all.

They're amazing little things, aren't they, SL? Very noisy and very busy! I love their eyebrows! :)

That's the one, Scottish! Brilliant name isn't it, Bombylius Major?! I haven't a clue which Bombylius the other one is though. The honey-coloured ones are much bigger than the stripey-bums. You could be right about the weather conditions...Now that you mention it, there are more cabbage whites this year than I've ever seen, yet none of the little blue butterflies we usually have...and, I haven't seen a single cricket or grasshopper. Bees are thin on the ground, too, as are the hornets and wasps. Maybe nature is re-dressing the balance, somehow...

Ah, so you have them too, Honeysuckle. Where on earth can they all have come from? Normally, round here when something new appears, it's via the docks at Bordeaux. But, not these! They are quite comical cartoon characters! :)

Lol, Pam...cute though they may be...I don't think I want to imagine them any bigger, thank you very much!!! Just think what they might do with that proboscis... :/

When I got my first proper look at these, Gatti, I thought that they might be baby humming bird moths...daft, really because they've only got a proboscis and furriness in common...
I've been trying to get decent photos of one of those too...darned difficult! I've found the best way is just too point the camera in the general direction...and just keep clicking!!! One in every 30 or so, is okay...almost! lol! :)

It's hard to think of them being flies, isn't it Jaykaty? :)
I'm not actually sure how beneficial those furry little bodies are, though. They don't seem to need to close enough to the flowers, with those proboscises, to get any pollen on them.

2 Aug, 2013


Great pics Karen and sweet little creatures, we need them to pollinate,so plant up more Verbena next year Lol. I lost a lot of my verbena and only have one plant this year but it has always got a bee or two on it!

3 Aug, 2013


Thank Gill! :)
The verbena is a magnet for the flying things, isn't it? Of course, nature will out, and, there's always a down-side...will post photos
That one seemed to struggle for the last couple of years, but now it's bursting with health! OH says it's nothing special...but, for me, the flowers may be small, but the colour is so intense...and the wild-life loves it! :)

3 Aug, 2013


these are fabulous photos, never mind of what. I, too, love their landing gear. I just cannot get over your pics, they are so clear of them. I also like the butterscotch bee!

6 Aug, 2013

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