Currently viewing the category: "Bee Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee-Fly Hybrid
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
May 13, 2016 6:20 am
Hello!
This creepy fellow wandered into the office this afternoon.
It makes buzzing sounds, like a bee, has the furry coat and the black and yellow stripes.
Its thorax is more round and compact than a regular bee and the stripes are also much more condensed. It has a very long snout/needle/mouth, although it is very small.
Our office is located in a bushveld type of landscape, and we also use recycled water (not sewage, obviously) as irrigation for our very big garden.
I sincerely hope you can help identify this stinger!
Signature: Charlottha Kruger

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Charlotta,
While this is not a hybrid, it is a member of the family Bombyliidae whose members are called Bee Flies because they are true Flies that mimic Bees.  What you have called a stinger is actually the proboscis or mouth which is adapted to drink nectar from blossoms while the Bee Fly hovers.  We were not able to identify its species on iSpot.

Thank you tons for getting back to me! J Good luck with your future bug-identnifications!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug identification
Location: Cambridge, England
April 19, 2016 3:19 am
Please could you tell me what this is I found it in my garden
Signature: Ann Clarke

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Dear Ann,
You did not specify which City of Cambridge, but since your Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, is found in both North America and Europe, it does not affect our identification.  The Greater Bee Fly is a harmless, beneficial pollinator.

Cambridge in England.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s This Bug? Mosquito-related?
Location: San Mateo, CA
March 2, 2016 8:40 pm
Found this critter flying around my house tonight in San Mateo. Fuzzy type of mosquito? Thought by sound it was a bumble bee until I caught it. Head seems mosquito-ish.
Signature: Renee, in San Mateo, CA

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Renee,
Though your images are quite blurry, they are nonetheless easily recognizable as being of a Bee Fly.  Flies and Mosquitoes are classified together in the insect order Diptera.

Thank you, Daniel.
The “Bee-Fly” was flying around so quickly, it was difficult to get an in-focus photo!  It’s abdomen is so flat that from the side it actually looks like a mosquito (& sounds like one) but from the top it’s more reminiscent of a barely-fuzzy bee.
Thank you for clarifying.
-Renee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee or not?
Location: Alexander Bay, South Africa
February 18, 2016 2:19 am
Hi there! I found this little guy buzzing around in my garden, and can’t find any photo on Google that looks like it. Would love to know what it is!
Signature: Adri

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Dear Adri,
Though it looks and acts like a Bee, this is actually a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae and we located this image on iSpot that looks like your individual, and it is identified as being in the genus
Bombomyia.  Here is another matching image from iSpot.  Bee Flies do not sting nor do they bite.  They are beneficial pollinators.

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: guarding my house today
Location: Oshawa, Ontario
August 12, 2015 1:57 pm
Dearest bugman,
Thanks to you, I have become more of a friend to bugs.
This afternoon, there is a very giant fly with spotted wings guarding the back door to my house. She (I think it’s a she) is sitting right on the keyhole! Thankfully, I come in through the garage…I have a feeling it is a kind of horse fly but have never actually seen one. I’ve never seen a fly this big or one with markings on its wings. We are in Oshawa, Ontario and the day is sunny and windy but she would be out of the sun and wind where she is sitting right now. Didn’t even care that I took pictures and opened the door twice…I was hoping to see a luna moth one day and not so much this guy…
be well and keep up the awesome work!
Signature: Robin

Tiger Bee Fly

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear Robin,
Thank you so much for your kind compliments.  This distinctive fly is a Tiger Bee Fly, a species that parasitizes Carpenter Bees.  Unlike female Horse Flies that might bite humans, this Tiger Bee Fly poses no threat to you or your pets.

Dearest Daniel,
Thank you so much for your response and for enlightening me about my visitor. I am honoured to be hearing from the bugman himself! I actually have your book!
Passion is what makes life worth living and yours is obvious. To give of yourself and your time as you have for so many years is a most incredible testament to passion. Thank you for sharing that as you have and for teaching so many of us so very much.
Stay passionate,
Robin
ps – bibitte is the French word for bug – I’ve been driving a vw bug for 15 years…

I’m blushing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: STILETTO FLY?
Location: Ouachita Mountains, Ark.
August 10, 2015 6:50 pm
Hi! Are these Stiletto Flies? Photographed on a small bridge overlooking a creek in Fannie, Arkansas. Only one photo of them mating before they left. Summer, Aug. 10th. Is this a common variety?
Signature: Bill Burton

Mating Flies

Mating Bee Flies

Dear Bill,
Though they resemble Stiletto Flies, we cannot find a matching image on BugGuide.  Among the most noticeable diagnostic features for us are the posterior edge of the eye having an unusual concave feature and the spacing between the eyes being almost equal between the male and the female.  We have requested assistance from Eric Eaton and we hope he can provide an identification soon.

Eric Eaton Identifies mating Bee Flies
Daniel:
I do recognize these as bee flies, family Bombyliidae.  I don’t recognize the genus offhand.  Herschel Raney’s “Random Acts of Nature” website might have pages devoted to bee flies of Arkansas.  I know he has lots on Arkansas *robber* flies…..
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Ed. Note:  We scanned the images on Random Natural Acts and BugGuide, but we could not conclusively identify these mating Bee Flies.  Assistance from our readership is always welcomed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination