Any idea what this is, I live on Vancouver Island, Canada, and have seen a number of these insects attacking and killing wasps and bees. Any info would be appreciated.
You have a totally awesome photograph of a Robber Fly, Family Asilidae. There is one genus, Laphria, known as Bee Hunters. Your fly belongs to that genus. Adults feed on Honey Bees, though your photo shows a Yellow Jacket being devoured. A species in California and Oregon is Sacken’s Bee Hunter, Laphria sackeni. Also, the larvae of robber flies are pretty much now assumed to be parasitic on beetle grubs. According to our Audubon Field Guide: “Sacken’s Bee Hunter flies rapidly and suddenly descends on an unsuspecting bee. It seizes its victim on the thorax so the bee cannot use its stinger.” You might want to submit your photo to the new field guide we advertise at the top of our homepage.