|Fuzzy Butt strikes again|
|Proboscis deep in a blossom|
|Bee Fly- Bombylius major|
The bee fly has another bee connection. The female will fly close to a digging bee burrow and flick her eggs into the hole. When her young emerge they will feed on both the stored food and the bee larvae. She may also lay eggs on flowers which draw host insects. Her larvae then can attach to a visiting bee or wasp and get a free ride to their home.
There were at least 5 other species visiting the flowers although they were rapid and impossible to identify. Plum blossoms are small, but much larger than most of the flowers this time of year. Their nectar is deep inside the blossom so bee flies are especially well equipped to reach it.
When we think of pollinators at all, we tend to focus on bees and butterflies, but there is a lot more fertilization action going on in those blossoms. There is a huge list of plum pollinators listed at Illinoiswildflowers.info. As Paul McCartney would have said if asked, "they get by with a little help of their (little) friends."