|A honey bee harvesting elderberry pollen.|
|This bee is aiming her antenna directly at a blossom.|
|This one has almost a full cargo of pollen.|
|She must be tempted to linger on this luxurious bed.|
Then I happened upon what I first assumed to be a bumble bee. But it didn't quite act like a normal bee. It wasn't foraging for pollen or nectar but just crouched there on an elderberry leaf. I assumed it was unwell. It was only later, when I examined the photo that all was revealed. Those eyes are not bee's eyes. The antenna is not a bee's antenna. Those feet are definitely not those of a bee. In fact, it is not a bee at all, but a bee-mimicking robber fly, Laphria. And it was not interested in pollen, but in other creatures such as my honey bees. Waiting in ambush, this carnivore with it's heavily bristled front legs was waiting to grab an insect victim. It would inject the prey with a poison and digestive enzymes and then suck it dry. Hey, we all have to make a living, right?
|A bee-mimicking robber fly crouches in ambush, ready to seize a victim.|
Meanwhile, back at the hives: