"Dangling Swamp-lover!"

Sounds like something Robin would exclaim in the last 30 seconds of a Batman episode, but actually it's a cool little fly that protects itself by looking a lot like a bee.

Just as soon as the snow stopped and the crocuses bloomed, the honeybees were on the case, working those blossoms and gathering pollen.

This critter (to right of honeybee) made an appearance, too. Athough I couldn't find it in my Audubon Society Field Guide to the Insects, a quick Google search of "honeybee mimic fly" brought me to photos of Helophilus pendulus, a type of hoverfly whose scientific name, according to wikipedia, means, "dangling swamp-lover."

One of the things I am enjoying about beekeeping is how it's opening my eyes to other insects. Everytime I see something in bloom now, I'm on the lookout for interesting pollinators, as well as for "my" honeybees. The bees are also introducing me to new botanical nuances, like the concept of nectar flow and a greater appreciation of pollen.

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