I came to realize that bees were always going to be buzzing around during the summer and that bumble bees were just a tiny bit bigger than regular yellow jacket bees and were soft and fuzzy looking but these were the ones that don’t sting. Um…yes they do. Someone probably told me that so that I wouldn’t run away looking like an idiot.
I am not deadly allergic to bees, but I still run from them. I’ve been stung once and that was one too many times. I’m one of those unlucky ones when any kind of bite or sting causes that bite site to do funky things. I swell more than 3x’s the normal person, I itch like crazy creating large oozing sores and then I keloid at that site.
However, since moving from Chicago to my current home state, all of the things that I thought I knew about life and weather has changed a great deal.
The weather is way different, some would say it’s better. No one knows how to drive on snow and if there is more than an inch of snow on the ground the schools are delayed opening for 2 hours or closed all together. But the biggest thing I noticed right off the bat are the bumble bees.
There are A Lot of them and half of them are huge. I’m not kidding. They are like the size of small birds. They don’t look like the fuzzy yellow and black ones from back home, these look shiny black and brown as if they are truly wearing a suit of armour and they dive bomb you. A city utility worker came yesterday to do some work in our front yard and the look on the guy’s face when one flew by his head was comical. I’m sure he was wondering what the heck was that because it probably made a loud buzzing sound as it toyed with him. It is not a deerfly, it’s not a typical hornet, or a wasp or a beetle and at this point, I’m not even sure it’s a bumble bee but it looks closest to that species than anything I know.
This thing can hover like a hummingbird and or more accurately, like a tiny helicopter outside my front window. Yikes.
Incidentally, I saw two hummingbirds close up for the first time in my life last year, here in this strange new state, and it was wicked cool!
This other thing seems to be guarding the front of my house which makes it rather intimidating to walk out the front door or out of the garage so I started doing a little research and what I came up with is possibly this.
Adults: Tree squirrel bot fly adults are black with a pale yellow thorax and smokey-black wings (I don't see any kind of yellow anywhere on this thing). They are relatively large flies with broad bodies, reaching a length of about 16 to 20 mm, and generally resemble bumblebees (Told ya!), but they do not visit flowers for nectar or pollen or consume other food, bite or sting (This is good! I am not sure this is what it is but it is close). Tree squirrel bot fly adults appear in early summer and seek a mate. Whether the males congregate at some distinctive physical feature in the habitat and await females of their species for mating, a behavior described for some western Cuterebra species, is unknown. Female Cuterebra emasculator presumably lay their eggs on natural substrates such as twigs, branches and vegetation in the habitat of their hosts, as documented for certain other Cuterebra species, rather than directly on their hosts, as do some species of parasitic flies, such as horse stomach bot flies (Gasterophilus spp.) and blow flies (e.g., Calliphora, Lucilia and Phormia spp.). Cuterebra spp. bot flies have relatively high fecundity, exceeding 1,000 eggs per female.(That's just perfect.)
Ewww, I am not a fan of bugs, have never been nor will ever bee :)
I look forward to the day this bug leaves my yard-whatever the heck it is.