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Biology

All bee-flies are parasites of other insects, and the heath bee-fly larva is a parasite of solitary bees of the genus Colletes where these are using vertical banks as nesting sites. Female bee-flies have a rather hit-and-miss procedure for getting their larvae into their host-bee's own larval cell. They collect fine dust in a 'basket' under their abdomens, and lay their eggs whilst hovering. They coat the eggs in dust and flick them at small holes along sandy banks. The coating of dust helps to camouflage the emerging grub, which then finds its way into the bee's burrow, but it is not known whether they feed on the bee grub or its food store. The adults are nectar-feeders and can be found on the flowers of bell heather, but they seem to prefer much scarcer plants associated with bare ground. The heath bee-fly is on the wing from mid-July to August.

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Source: ARKive

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