Honey Bee Happy ( though it’s not actually a bee ! )

I am away for a couple of days and may not be able to read or comment on blogs til I get back 🙂


I was out in my garden early in the morning the other day picking fruit to have for breakfast when several things caught my eye and I ended up being out for nearly 2 hours!! 

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you may have noticed that I do get rather excited about things sometimes but I am glad I have kept a childlike sense of wonder about the natural world.  Never more so than this day when I had a very close encounter with a bee ( which I now know is a hoverfly) which seemed to take a liking to me.  I was photographing something else with my macro lens when it landed on my arm. I took a couple of shots quickly but they weren’t very good and then it was gone but not completely as it flew into my kitchen.

For some reason I put my hand down beside where it was on the kitchen top and it climbed on my hand and stayed there for 10 minutes using its flat proboscis to “taste” my skin by patting it up and down. It was an extraordinary feeling and it just carried on as I used my macro lens up very close to it and even walked with it into the garden. Eventually it flew off to the Dill plant beside my door but when I put my hand up close to it on it got again for another five minutes..

Absolutely thrilling experience but a bit tricky to take photos as obviously I could only use one hand and wanted to try a couple of different focuses.

Update – It’s not a bee see Britta-Karin’s comment below 🙂 I knew somebody would know 😀


Its feet have both little suckers and hooks. I’m hoping someone will tell us all more about the proboscis with those little pads on it.



Beautiful eyes and wing.



You can see some other bee photos here


If you’d like to you can read my other blog 1500 Saturdays here  where I write about what I’m thinking, talking about, photographing or doing on all the Saturdays I hope I’ll have left!



22 thoughts on “Honey Bee Happy ( though it’s not actually a bee ! )

  1. These are amazing, I love them. And, considering you were only using one hand pretty good sharpness and detail. You are so luck to have this little feller take a liking to you. Congratulations.

  2. Hi Helen. Lovely photos. What you have here is probably a drone fly “Eristalis tenax”, one of the bee-like hoverflies. Easiest way to tell the difference between bees (and other Hymenopthera)and hover flies or flower flies is to look at the eyes, which are smaller on bees and at the wings, as bees have two par of wings. Hoverflies have only one pair as the hinterwings have been reduced and integrated with the former pair. The wings of this little fellow looks very typical for a hoverfly.

  3. My pleasure. Wonderful little critters to have in the garden, the larvae eat greenflies, the grown-ups pollinate, besides that they are cute and friendly (obviously 🙂 )

  4. I’m not sure whether we have “hoverflies” over here, but I’ll tell you, the houseflies around Old World are multiplying and driving me crazy! The invention of window screens was a terrific idea; parasitic diseases were reduced dramatically. Wish they’d been more widespread in 1861 when they were first invented, but they weren’t typically installed in houses in the US until the ’40s. (bit o’ history for ya)

  5. Stunning pictures, Helen, absolutely wonderful! I wonder if he/she/it was taking moisture and/or salt from your skin? Yes, definitely hold on to the childlike wonder – that’s riches that money can’t ever buy! A

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