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A bee fly visits

At first glance from a distance, many bees look very similar.

And this goes for bee flies, as well.

But when you look closer, you can tell these are not bees.

At first I thought this was a honey bee. But then the body looked to large, it has two wings instead of four, the antennae are very short, the eyes are huge like those of many flies. And the legs are very long and skinny.

Bee flies are very efficient pollinators.

However, they are also parasites.

The female bee fly hovers over the ground in search of holes that could be entrances to bee nests.

When they do locate a nest entrance they can simply hover over it and flick their abdomen, allowing one of their eggs to fall into the hole. That fly larva can find its way to the area where a mother bee would be storing her diligently collected pollen provisions and laid her own egg.

The fly larva will first feed on the pollen, then eat the bee larvae. It will stay in the nest until fully grown, pupates and waits until the next spring to leave.

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bees in the bay breeze

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