Bee Fly Flying

Bee Fly Bombylius major

I had a visitor today. This Bee Fly (Bombylius major) was feeding from one of my Grape Hyacinth blooms between April showers.

Bee Fly Bombylius major

Bee Fly Bombylius major

It must be tiring work all this high speed buzzing about, as it had to take a rest on a stone in the warm spring sunshine.

Bee Fly Bombylius major

Bee Fly Bombylius major

Bee Fly Bombylius major

Bee Fly Bombylius major

It has been a very changeable morning with the light, having to keep altering the camera settings as the sun ducked in out of the clouds like it was playing some kind of celestial hide-and-seek, but at least it hasn’t rained yet. I went on one of my walks through the local woodland, mainly looking for one of my very favourite spring wild flowers, the Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria). As I enjoyed the yellow splendour of early spring I happened upon this extraordinary little fellas, who was drinking from this sweet flower cup.

One may be forgiven for thinking this is a bee, or even a hoverfly, but it is in fact a fly called, rather confusingly, a Bee Fly (Bombylius major). It mimics a bee as a defence mechanism, and it sure fooled me at first glance! One cannot help but take notice of the almost needle-like proboscis which, in the image above, can be seen sprinkled in fine pollen as it probes the centre of the flower.

I observed it for a short while as it hovered from flower to flower, taking a sip here and there, before I lost sight of it.

To learn more about this interesting fly please visit my previous blog “To Be Or Not To Be A Bee But a Fly”.