Back in Minnesota, the peonies have just about finished blooming. Their fragrance and color make them a hit in my garden, but the bees and flies seem to love their pollen.
Very small hoverflies, not much bigger than the anthers of the peony, crawled around on them searching for some pollen to eat.
Their eyes almost match the color of the peony petals.
What looked like small bumblebees were gathering pollen on their enlarged back legs
And then there was this strange bee mimicking fly…
Another species of hoverfly, perhaps an Eristalis species, hovered around the flowers and sat on the leaves. It looks just like a small bumble bee, except for those very large eyes (bees are smaller with space between them on the top of their head) and the very short antennae (bees are longer and project diagonally outward from the head, rather than forward like these do). And of course, this one is obviously not collecting pollen on its rear legs.
It’s amazing what you see when you look closely on and inside of these beautiful flowers.