One of the most common hover flies in my garden is episyrphus balteatus. I am fairly confident about my identification in four of these shots. Less so in the one below.
I believe episyrphus balteatus is one of the flies also known by the common name, marmalade fly. Obviously, this is because of its colour and not because it has a penchant for preserves!.
Making a bee, err … hoverfly, line
I think hover flies are a delightful addition to the garden. The adults feed entirely on nectar but the larvae are voracious predators of aphids, which makes them jolly useful! Episyrphus balteatus is also one of the best hover fly hoverers, making it a relatively easy target for the photographer.
Hovering over candles?
Hover flies disguise themselves as bees or wasps as a defensive mechanism. Unfortunately, they are so good at this that many people assume they are bees or wasps and, if they think the latter, they tend to swat them. What a shame. Hover flies have no sting and no downside for humans. They aren’t even interested in our food.
I love this time for year for many things, including the crab apple blossom that attracts a rather nice little seasonal character, bombylius major, the bee-fly. I am perhaps slightly ridiculously fond of this little furry fly. I did a post about it this time last year and you can see more images of it there. These are three new ones, snapped in my garden this afternoon.
There’s just something about its little round, furry body, and the way it hovers… well, I am a ‘bug lady’ after all.
Despite the drop in temperatures over the last couple of days, the hardy carder bees have still been out and about, seemingly tougher than the honey bees who have almost disappeared. Believe it or not, this geranium is called ‘Jolly Bee’!
They are still happily visiting carder bee heaven. I can now be more specific than my earlier identification of it as a member of the mint family; it is Agastache ‘Blackadder’.
This one isn’t flying, but I liked the light so included it anyway.
There were a few bumble bees about this morning. This is the first time I have seen them feeding on the solanum jasminoides flowers. Perhaps they are less fussy at this time of year when other flowers are fading. Look at that pollen sac! Amazing that it can fly at all.
It has been several days since a buggy post! Most unlike me. But never fear, the carder bees are here! They have been very happy this weekend, enjoying the lovely warm weather among the late summer flowers in my garden.
I have forgotten the name of this purple flower but no matter; it shall henceforth be known as carder bee heaven.
Making a bee line
It was rather special, sitting in the border surrounded by gorgeous late summer colour and hordes of very happy bees.
These small bumble bees are very cute. Or is that just me?
This last shot isn’t quite as sharp as I would normally like but I just couldn’t help include it: geronimo!
If you want to know my technique for shooting flying bugs, see my earlier post, In-flight entertainment where I reveal all my secrets!
Well, I managed two whole days without posting anything buggy but I couldn’t resist sharing this shot with you today. Bumble bees love the Bishop of Llandaff dahlias in my garden. And I love photographing them.