Bee Fly

Large numbers of insects begin to emerge here in Tucson during April as the days grow warmer (some days can reach over 90°F (32.2 °C). When I walk in the hot, dry, sandy washes looking for the last of the spring wildflowers, these little, fuzzy Bee Flies (Family Bombyliidae) will often buzz along beside me and then land on the sand near my feet for a moment or two before tagging along after me again.

Bee Fly (Family Bombyliidae)

Most Bee Flies can be recognized by their plump, "wide-bottomed" body shape, large, fly-like eyes, and their dense covering of hair-like setae. Like the above Bee Fly, many Bee Flies have a conspicuously long proboscis.

Although they look rather bee-like, Bee Flies are actually quite harmless to humans. The adults feed on flower nectar and pollen, while their larvae eat the eggs and larvae of other insects, especially those of actual bees.