Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not a bee

A while back, I posted about a bee imitator that I thought was a syrphid, or flower fly, but it turned out to be a wool carder. Yesterday I found an actual syrphid on my daisies.
Though it buzzes and hovers like a bee, it does not sting or bite. The bee-like markings also help fool predators. The larvae eat garden pests such as aphids.
This one has a vertical black stripe, which drew my attention, and it has a white face and big fly-eyes. There's a poster of some Syrphidae on Wikipedia that shows some of the many varieties.

My garden sure is pollinator central!


  1. Lately I've heard from a number of people who said they had honeybees clustered around their hummingbird feeders. I've never seen that happen here before, and now I'm wondering if they were seeing syrphid flies, not you know if honeybees would glom onto a hummingbird feeder?

  2. Yes, bees will take advantage of hummingbird feeders, especially if there is a drought and/or a shortage of flowers in bloom. Even if there are flowers, bees can be opportunists, since it offers high return for little effort.

    Here's a page that offers advice on dealing with the problem.