Bee Fly – a Pollinator and a Predator

Did you know that over 925,000 species of insects have been identified? Entomologists believe this is only 20% of the total number of insect species in the world. While all insects play in important role in the life cycle of something, the most prolific ones seem to be the ones that are simply a pain to have around. Ants, fleas, hornets, mosquitoes, cockroaches – you can probably add to this list with the ones that invade your home or garden!

Some flies and gnats were sitting on my paper and this disturbed me; I breathed on them to make them go, then blew harder and harder, but it did no good. The tiny beasts lowered their behinds, made themselves heavy, and struggled against the wind until their thin legs were bent. They were absolutely not going to leave the place. They would always find something to get hold of, bracing their heels against a comma or an unevenness in the paper, and they intended to stay exactly where they were until they themselves decided it was the right time to go.
– Knut Hamsun, Hunger –

The Bee Fly is one of those insects that has a good side and a bad side – it is a Pollinator but it is also a Bee Predator.

This Bee Fly was drinking nectar from the flowers of a Spiraea Bush. From a distance, it was just a small black fly. The story changed with the macro lens – two tone wings and big buggy eyes!

Bug Bits
Name:  Bee Fly
Family:  Bombyliidae
Native to:  The Bombyliidae Family of insects are found throughout much of the world. Little is known about them due to lack of research. They are flower pollinators.
Date Seen:  June 2019
Location:  North of Calgary, Alberta
Notes:  Bee Flies have two membrane-like wings, often with interesting patterns on them. They spread their wings out when they rest. Their bodies are usually covered with fine gray, yellow, brown and/or black hairs. The dark side of it’s life cycle is – bee fly eggs are laid in underground bee nests. The resulting larva feeds on bee stored pollen and also eat bee larvae.

Digital Magic
I ran the Bee Fly through Topaz Studio filters and this is what I got:

Topaz Studio Cartoon Filter
Topaz Studio Kaleidoscope Filter
Topaz Studio Painter filter
Topaz Studio Telb014 filter

What is your tolerance level for insects when a fly lands on your kitchen counter, an ant tries to make off with a crumb from your picnic plate, a mosquito makes a withdrawal from your blood bank or a flea makes your dog itch?

13 thoughts on “Bee Fly – a Pollinator and a Predator

  1. We’re learning a lot about insects out here in the county. In 2017 we had an “invasion” of ladybugs; last year it was marmorated stink bugs; this year it’s house flies. They get in through open windows and doors and cracks everywhere! My cat loves to hunt them, but I could do without the constant struggle to keep them off the counters and out of my bed! We’ve had an influx of paper wasps this year too – they’ve built a HUGE nest under the soffit in the front corner of the house. Once the first frost has passed, my husband will have to spray it (repeatedly) and then, in the spring, remove the wood trim and get rid of the nest. I “get” that bugs are just “being bugs”, but they sure can be annoying at times (as for mosquitoes – I could gladly do without them!)


    1. We had a similar fly problem for years. We spent hours filling fly sized holes and cracks – especially around doors and windows. That helped, as did a few other things. The neighbourhood horses and donkeys eventually moved away. Along with that, hubby bought a half dozen fly traps (the ones that are like big mason jars.) He faithfully empties them when they get filled (not a job he enjoys at all!) The bonus for us is that we can eat outside now in the summer without a whole bunch of flies bothering us.


  2. Love the photo using the last filter. Don’t much care for bugs of any kind, but especially disliked cockroaches while living in Houston. They scared me.


  3. I can tolerate the ants on a picnic as I do not have to live with them. The flies on a farm do get pretty sickening.
    After last fall I really really do not like mosquitoes at all!! I think my husband hates them worse than me.
    Love the photo and the different filters.


  4. I always enjoy seeing your filtered creations, and it seems especially suited for bugs. Kind of brings out their beauty?
    I’m one of those weird types that when a bug is indoors, I “rescue” it and release it outside.


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