Hoverflies in My Sky Garden
One of my great summer joys is watering my balcony plants first thing in the morning. A few weeks ago, I was doing just that (using my fancy brand-spanking-new copper watering can) when along came a little hoverfly. These little guys somehow found their way up to my sky garden the moment I brought out my first plants and they’ve been visiting regularly ever since.
Delighted to see one, I jokingly said to her, “Would you like a little drink of water, Miss Hoverfly?” And before I could even finish, she alighted on the spout of my watering can, took a tiny sip from a single droplet of water and quickly hovered off to check out the rest of my garden. Well, that just made my morning, because—surprise, surprise—I adore hoverflies!
The Royal Society for the Appreciation of Hoverflies
Seeing the hoverflies in my garden brought to mind a vague memory of reading about some sort of hoverfly appreciation society in the U.K. I was certain I’d read somewhere a while back that many folks in the U.K. were avid hoverfly fans and that there was even some sort of hoverfly appreciation society.
So, of course, I turned to the internet to see if I could find it. And while I am correct about British folk loving their hoverflies (so much so that many books are widely available to enable identification of specific hoverfly species in particular areas), I did not, to my surprise, find the Royal Society for the Appreciation of Hoverflies as I expected to. Perhaps there is no Royal Society for the Appreciation of Hoverflies, but I think there really ought to be one.
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh
Some Interesting Facts About Hoverflies
- Hoverflies are harmless, as they have no stingers.
- They use mimicry as a form of defense (they look very much like a wasp).
- They are so successful at looking like wasps that many people mistake them for wasps or bees.
- Hoverfly larvae are a gardener’s friend, eating aphids and garden insect pests.
- They are important pollinators.
- Hoverflies really do hover (while bees and wasps do not usually do so).
- They have two wings, whereas wasps have four wings.
- Hoverflies have short antennae (whereas the antennae of wasps are longer and look like bull horns protruding outwards).
- Hoverflies do not have a “waist”, whereas wasps do—a narrowing between the thorax and abdomen.
- They can fly backwards.
- Hoverflies are attracted to carrot and mint family plants.
- They are just so darned cute!
“Nature never hurries.
Atom by atom, little by little she achieves her work.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
All photos by madlyinlovewithlife: © 2015 madlyinlovewithlife