Bee flies are common this year

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ABitGrainy Junior Member • Posts: 45
Bee flies are common this year

On sunny days this Spring, there have been plenty of bee flies around seeking nectar. They are remarkable for several reasons. They can hover and fly in any direction. They parasitise solitary bees and wasps and are reputed to launch an egg at the targeted nest while flying.

Their acrobatics make them rather hard to photograph - at least for anyone with my skill level. In addition, they are remarkably hairy so it is difficult for the camera to focus. Except on the long and sharp proboscis - and then the rest of the insect is probably out of focus.

Over the years, my bee fly photography attempt have been dismal.

At least one can sometimes capture them while resting - but they always land to point away from the sun so the lighting on the face is likely to be shadow.

Bee fly resting

And then, when they land on a flower and shove their noses deep inside, the composition is suboptimal. Here is one of those hirsute beasts enjoying whatever the violet has to offer.

Bee fly at violet

This year, perhaps partly because they have given me a lot of opportunity, I appear to have made improvements to my bee fly photography. The E-M1iii, 300 mm lens and denoise AI may also have had something to do with the results obtained.

Here is a bee fly with extended proboscis - how long is that thing!?

Bee fly with extended proboscis

And here is an incoming bee fly opening the tip of its proboscis in anticipation of some tasty slurping action.

Bee fly incoming

The latter two captures have shown me details about the bee fly proboscis that I had no idea about.

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