Backyard Report

Well, I had kind of been avoiding going outside, taking a dozen steps or so, and looking at the flowers and the bugs.  Every time I looked out, all I could see was icky bugs flying around, just waiting for somebody to land on.  Yesterday I decided to take my chances and see if there was anything left worth looking at.  Silly me, of course there was!

There were bees everywhere.  This time they weren’t bumblebees, or sweat bees, or leaf-cutter bees.  They were honeybees, and they weren’t interested in me at all.  They were all about gathering pollen.

But as I was going through my bee pictures, one of them was different. Is it a bee?  What is it???

Check out that weird head…and those stripes that aren’t straight!  I sent the photo to a bug site that will assist in identifying bugs of all kinds.  Their best guess (and I think they’re right) is that it’s a transverse flower fly, also called a hoverfly — it’s not a bee.  Their defense mechanism is that they look like a bee.  They are considered desirable to gardeners because their larvae eats garden pests such as aphids.

–Sue

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