Or are they? Well, the truth be told, we don’t really know because with few exceptions we have pretty much put all of our bees in one basket. However, the time may be coming when the other 99% of pollinators – e.g. the for-get-me-not frequenting flower fly below– receive their due attention.
Flower flies (aka hoverflies, Syrphidae) were one of the pollinator groups that were well represented in presentations last week at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Usually I would consider attending such a meeting additional work, but this time it was vacation – perhaps the reason I had an unusually good time for a bug meeting. Not that sitting on one’s butt from 8 am until 5 pm listening to bug talks, not even with the aid of fly papers, is all that easy, but the friends, fine food, and Forks all made for a pleasant time. ‘Winterpeg’ was anything but wintry, the simple monument at Louis Riel’s grave among the Dutch doomed elms in the Saint Boniface churchyard strangely moving, and the bug science less debased by climate change hyperbole than has become usual. However, it was the plethora of papers on pollinators that made the meeting for me.
Anyone who answered the question in the picture above with the Laphria on the left (a robberfly, Asilidae) must have missed the doubly unfortunate damselfly and mites.