Bee-flies

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Bee-flies
Bee-flies 09 May 2014

I couldn’t resist spending some more time this spring watching bee-flies. I can combine this with a continuing study of a violet oil beetle population in a local meadow. Both of these insects are nest parasites of solitary bees. The oil beetle larva feeds on the pollen collected by the bee whilst the bee fly larva waits for the bee larva to consume its food supply before latching on to its body and sucking it dry!


Bee-flies
Bee-flies 14 May 2013

After a slow start it has been a good spring for watching these amazing insects. The first Bombylius major (such a great name!) emerged in early April so I spent some time sketching them around a patch of primroses on the edge of Brook Wood.


Bee-flies
Bee-flies 18 April 2012

One of my favourite insects is now on the wing. The Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major is a beautiful and fascinating creature. Close-up it looks like something out of science fiction, resembling a miniature bee with swept back, chocolate-brown marked wings and an outsized black proboscis.