Two things that we have had swarming around this summer are Bee Flies and Dragonflies. I am fortunate enough to have a friend who is an Entomologist, Dr. Jeff Bradshaw, aka known as the Bugman by his adoring wife, Katie Bradshaw of SCB Citizen. When ever I have an insect question, all I have to do is post a question on Facebook and Bugman comes to my rescue with his knowledge! And free of charge!
We've had tons of these little bee flies around here and Bugman so kindly provided me with this information: "They are Bombiliidae. Also know as a bee fly. As larvae they feed on grasshopper eggs. You have a lot of bee flies because you have a lot of grasshoppers."
Aren't they cute?
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And Bugman also filled me in about the dragonflies. See his blog post. Click here. According to Dr. Bugman,
The last couple years, there has been more rain than the 10-year average in the panhandle of Nebraska. Due to an increase in habitat and food, dragonflies have done well. In fact, they have done so well that some people are actually concerned about their large numbers. However, what some people do not realize is that dragonflies are predacious. Fortunately, they feed on pest insects that also benefit from all of the rain that we have had, such as, mosquitoes and biting flies. They scoop them out of the air with the long setae that coat their legs. So, you see, it's a natural phenomenon and could be considered a balanced ecosystem process that benefits us greatly through the reduction of disease vectors -- dragonflies provide ecosystem services.
Who knew?? Dr. Bugman knew, that's who!