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20 messages
LM
07/05/2013 at 13:41

Has anyone else had alot of Bee Flies in their garden? They look like bees, they hover alot and they have a long probosis. It took me a little while to find out what they were. Some people have said they are hummingbird hawk moths but these are not around at this time of year and would be much larger. Apparently they are parasitic on solitary bees, wasps and beetles. Fortunatley they don't sting! 

07/05/2013 at 13:51

Bombylius major, yes, more than we usually see

07/05/2013 at 14:31

Masses here in the south too - far more than last year. I think they are fascinating to watch!

07/05/2013 at 19:12

I've seen a fair few here as well, more than I remember last year. I think they are lovely, really enjoy watching them feeding on the flowers

08/05/2013 at 04:04

bump

08/05/2013 at 06:35

Yes, I've been watching them too - and we seem to have a good helping of bumble bees as well 

08/05/2013 at 08:01

I nyself am quite worried about the rise in the bee flies..I too have alot of lovely bumbles.but.I have not seen many hony bees..could the rise in the number of bee flies be having an effect,,and,whilst bee flies might be pretty,I do not like to encourage my friends preditorsr loads of honesty...and...loads of Orange tip butterflies,spuds up,runner beans 7-8 inches high,spring onions,chard and spinach doing well as is beetroot,and lettuce,,I have had to thin..all in all things coming nicely..I have to start things in tunnels,as Borris,and Rosie coco think I have just made a nice litter tray for them not to mention George next door,,I must say once things are bigger,they do keep off...xxx...

08/05/2013 at 08:06

PS.I am waiting to see how many wasps I get,,,They are the best aphid and pest removers everI talk to them,and, have never had any trouble from them...in fact I quite welcome them,,but I have got quite a big garden..and they seem to dissapear later im the year,,,mind you I have`nt ay plum trees,other wise they might be a pest,,but they keep my cabbages free of caterpillars...so bully for them...xxx...

 

08/05/2013 at 10:14

I have seen quite a few in my garden, they have such a loud buzz!!!  I find them fascinating!!

08/05/2013 at 11:10

I love to watch them. All part of nature's diversity Ann. I fear the only thing that seriously upsets the balance is Homo sapiens.

08/05/2013 at 11:51

Lots here too (Surrey/Sussex border) which hopefully means that their prey species, bumble bees, are also in adundance. If bee flies are too successful then no bumble bees .

08/05/2013 at 13:01

But then it will all swing back the other way steephill. It's been going on for thousands of years

08/05/2013 at 18:00

As others have said the bee fly - bee balance is not a problem. The main impact on our bumbles is habitat loss, that overwhelms anything else and is not a natural cycle.

08/05/2013 at 19:20

    Hi

 I am confused, when you say bee fly, do u mean hover fly? 

I have seen  many bees on my ribes flowering currant.

And the holes of solitary bees in the borders.

 I am finding duck eggs!!!!---- yes duck eggs  from the mallards that visit my

garden every day. She is nots

 

08/05/2013 at 19:29

Hi

To continue last post, which just went!!!!    sorry!.

she is not sitting on them, just laying and leaving.

They, 2 drakes and the lady visit each morning,

.along with the black bird and her 2 chicks.

well i did plant a wildlife garden!

08/05/2013 at 19:29

http://www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/recording_datarequest_beeflies.php

One of these Patty. Looks like a bee with a pointy nose.

I get occasional visits from mallards but I've never been left an egg. Have to ask nicely then perhaps I will

08/05/2013 at 19:29

patty, i only came to know them last year, they are small furry and tend to hover around. They have a long probosis, bit like a butterflies when they feed on plants.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23230.jpg?width=229&height=220&mode=max

 

Not my pic, this is what they look like.

I've seen a quite a few bumblies around as well. Duck eggs are very tasty

08/05/2013 at 19:39

 Hi

 Thank you  nutcutlet & hollie  hock, for prompt reply.

I will certainly look out for them, they are so nice.

As for the duck eggs i used to keep  ducks, and i loved the eggs,

but dont know how old these are?

08/05/2013 at 21:39

Hi, re the duck eggs, the female will keep laying until she has enough for a brood - she won't start sitting until then - that way they will all start developing at the same time and hatch at the same time.

 If she started sitting when she started laying (as birds of prey and owls do) the chicks would hatch at intervals - this is a good strategy for them as in times when prey is scarce the older chicks will cannibalise the younger  - whereas with ducks they all need to hatch out at the same time so the mother can take them all to the nearest water. 

09/05/2013 at 09:22

The Bee flies are more common in high temperature areas of the world such as the Med if I remember correctly. Not that I've noticed high temps in kent, although the experts tell us Britain is warmer, and they especially like Primulas at this time of year, the Bees that is...not the experts.

One fascinating fact I read is that they deposit their eggs into solitary bee nests in the ground by doing a fly pass and plopping it in the hole. Way to go Bee fly! 

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