A Greater Bee-fly, Bombylius major, was spotted in the Copse yesterday and again today, visiting the mass of Pulmonaria ‘Munstead Blue’ near the entrance opposite the path to Inverleith House. The bee-fly looks like a small fat brown bee but has narrow wings and it hovers rather like a hoverfly. It is quite scarce but is usually seen in the Botanics in spring. It seems to be especially fond of blue flowers such as Muscari (grape hyacinth), Scilla (squill) etc. Due to this year’s late spring it is much later in appearing this year; last year the first Botanics record was on 27 March.
I’ve seen a few in my garden and only just looked up what it is. Saw one today, I live in Exeter in Devon and the Bee Fly was feeding on the last of the grape hyacinths and the aubritia. Seems to love purple.