Greater Bee Fly

Subject:  unidentified flying pollinator
Geographic location of the bug:  Hillsborough, NJ, USA
Date: 04/23/2018
Time: 09:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Greetings:
I saw something pollinating some Spring Beauties on April 21. I assumed at the time that I was getting photos of some sort of bee, but when I got a closer look at the pictures when I got home I got more of a fly (or mosquito?) vibe from it. Can you give me an idea of what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  John

Greater Bee Fly

Dear John,
You are correct that this is not a Bee.  It is a Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major.  According to BugGuide:  “A common and widespread bee fly, often seen taking nectar on early spring wildflowers or seen hovering in sunny patches in woodlands” and “adults fly from March to May (most common in April).”

Greater Bee Fly
Thanks – that sure looks like the little fella I saw last weekend. We’ve had a colder-than-average spring so flowers are just kicking into gear and I’m not seeing many pollinators yet. This guy turned out to be a little more interesting than I expected.


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