This is not a bee. Lets get that straight. Right now. It is superficially, I will grant you, a bit bee-ish. In that its yellow and black and sitting on a flower. (This, by the way, is called Batesian mimicry, which means having a ‘don’t eat me, I’m dangerous / I sting / I’m poisonous.) But if you were, say, a documentary magazine show maker/researcher/writer for, say, Channel 4, and the documentary you’re making is about bees, would you think that it would be a bad idea to, instead of filming feeding honey bees (as the audio commentary calls them), you film two different species of HOVERFLIES!!!??
I know this is a bit pedantic of me, but I was already 90% irritated with “Wild Things” (Channel 4’s recent offering of ‘cutting edge botany’ hosted by an excessively northern Hobbit – ‘rising star’ of the garden design world, Chris Myers) and settling in on a Monday night watching a show about my beloved bees and seeing these images really was the straw that broke the camel’s back.*
So lets break it down…
Bees: FOUR (count ’em) wings. Mandibles (jaws) and a long tongue. Long antennae. Average sized eyes.
Flies: TWO wings. No mandibles or tongue, just a weird sucky-spongey-thing (Labellum). Tiny, almost invisible antennae. ENORMOUS EYES!!
That is all. I feel better now. Rant over. Cup of tea anyone?*I would like to clarify that there is nothing wrong with being northern, and speaking as someone who is deeply besotted with Sean Bean, I am sure you will understand that I’m not anti-northern, just anti-‘Excessively Northern’.