Bug Love Frenzy! And a Little Hitchhiker!
I just went out again to check on the bumblebees and a number of others have joined in the fun!
Can you let me know what the little hitchhiker is on the highest bumblebee?
I thought you would enjoy this picture of the “bumblebee love gathering” in my garden. I always thought bees mated in the air so I was very surprised to see this in my garden today 🙂
After sifting through all the Bumble Bees in the genus Bombus posted on BugGuide, and all the identification drawings on the Bumblebees of North America website, we don’t feel confident enough to give you an exact species identification. Perhaps one of our readers can assist in this matter. We are curious about this group mating behavior. The detail on your photo is not sufficient for us to identify the small fly hitch-hiking on the top Bee.
The bumble bee mating behavior is typical of many ground-nesting bees. Virgin queens are a hot commodity, so males flock to them and compete for an opportunity to mate.
I can’t make out what the fly is, either, but it might be a “no-see-um,” family Ceratopogonidae, most species of which do not feed on people, but suck the blood of other insects.