First Bees of 2011

I’ve seen my first bees of the year. I was in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where honey bees were working the crocuses:
and the pollen-saturated Rose-Gold Pussy Willow:No other species of bees were seen, but the bumblebees should be out and about soon. There were a few flies, including this:A drone fly, Eristalis tenax. It looks like a drone (male) honey bee, which is slightly larger than the worker (female) bee, but drones do not collect nectar, as this fly is doing. There are other differences as well. Flies have a single pair of wings instead of the bees’ two interlocking pair. Above all, look how clean this fly looks; it’s not covered in hair to attract pollen. But it’s subtle, and the mimicry of this species, which originates in Europe just like the honey bee, is probably to convince other animals that it might sting like a bee if you mess with it. It won’t.

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4 Responses to “First Bees of 2011”


  1. 1 Mike B. March 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Love the photos- my last post was of a honey bee too! Spring is beginning.

    • 2 mthew March 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Your pics were the ones that got me out of the house today, to see if this side o’ the nation was buzzing as well.

  2. 3 TGIQ March 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Lovely. You’re making me a little jealous though… there’s not so much as a hint of green around here yet :(

  3. 4 http://www.beekeepingguidelines.com/beekeeping-suit/ March 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Pollinating bees are a lovely sight during springtime. You are so lucky to have gotten those nice pictures of the honey bees sippin’ on the flowers. By the way that drone fly sure looks like a bee. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference had you not pointed out the detail about the wings.


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