Family: Bombyliidae Latreille, 1802
Common names: bee flies or humbleflies
Bombyliidae is a large diverse family of flies. The adults are strong fliers and hover frequently. They are called bee flies because of their often bee-like resemblance and their flower visitation. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, and may be important pollinators. The larval biology is poorly known but the majority seem to be nest parasites of wasps and bees.
Adult bee flies generally favor sunny conditions and dry, often sandy, or rocky areas. They are often found hovering over flowers or resting on the bare ground in the sun.
The family is found worldwide but the greatest species diversity is found in tropical and arid subtropical regions (Evenhuis and Greathead 2015).
Distribution of Bombyliidae by GBIF: https://www.gbif.org/species/7285
There are about 800 species of bee flies in 70 genera and 13 subfamilies in North America. Worldwide there are over 5,000 species in 230 genera and 15 subfamilies (Hull 1973).
The larval stages are parasitoids of immature stages of other insects, particularly wasps and bees. Other species are known to attack the larvae of beetles, other flies, including tsetse flies, and even moths. Adult bee flies feed on nectar and pollen. Bee flies can affect native bee populations by parasitizing their nests.
Bee fly larvae are predators or parasitoids of the eggs and larvae of other insects. Adult female bee flies deposit their eggs near potential hosts, such as wasp or solitary bee nests. The larva makes its way to the nest where it will feed on the stored provisions and the host's egg or larva. When the bee fly larva is fully grown, it pupates and remains in the nest until next spring. Although some bee flies are host-specific, many species will parasitize a variety of hosts (Yeates and Greathead 2008).