Last Wednesday was a ‘B’ day – not ‘B’ as in ‘B-rated’ or in any way inferior – in fact, in that sense, it was an A+ day. I named it a ‘B’ day because I saw my first Butterflies of 2018, my first Blackcap, and my first Bee-flies – and not just one Bee-fly, but a total of seven!
The Bee-fly (officially Bombylius major) is a strange-looking mini-beastie, a weird and wonderful combination, all the cuteness of a furry teddy-bear but with the sinister look of a sword fish. Never fear, it is entirely harmless to humans, though it does lay its eggs in the nests of bees and wasps, where the bee-fly larvae feast on the bee and wasp larvae. Its sword-shaped proboscis is no stinging machine – it’s used exclusively for drinking nectar from flowers. These are springtime mini-beasties, out now in sunny spots in your garden or local hedgerow.