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10 May 2007

The latest BUZZ

Last month, before the tick incident, I walked every day back down the woodsy path that leads to a now very dry seasonal creek. Aside from the ticks and skeeters, it's one of my favourite spots here. A large part of it is lined with buckwheat trees. At one spot, where the path briefly widens, there are wild azaleas. In that same area, the last few times I was back there, I would always hear a loud BZZZZZZZ-ing sound, like a swarm of bees. I looked all over, but there were no bees to be found. Finally, I found the source of the buzz. Hovering just above the ground were dozens and dozens of bee flies.

I've had better shots of these little guys, but my filing skills aren't that great, so who knows where they are now? For some really great pics, check out this site.

The long snout is for nectaring, not stinging. It likely serves as protection from predators that have learned to avoid the sting of actual bees.Their larvae are parasitic on bees, wasps, and other insects. The females often lay eggs in wasp holes or beetle burrows.

There are, according to some reports, over 4500 'described species' and probably thousands more 'undescribed'. So I have not identified this one. I just think they're cute and interesting. 8-]


Floridacracker said...

Neat. This may be what I saw in the Confederate Jasmine last week.

SophieMae said...

FC, they really are neat, aren't they? I keep having to remind myself they're flies.

Cathy S. said...

Are you okay? I miss your posts.

SophieMae said...

Hanging in there, Cathy. 8-} I had a couple of health concerns - minor, but aggravating - the past few weeks, but I'm standing on those healing promises.

I don't know where time gets to these days. It sure doesn't seem like 11 days since I posted last. Reckon I'm gonna have to trade in my truck - >8\ - for something that gets better gas mileage so I can get out more.