Bee flies are so named because some species resemble bees, though others have mottled wing and abdomen patterns. Some of the 750 species in the family Bombyliidae are common.
Bombyliids fly rapidly from flower to flower, sometimes hovering steadily just above a flower. Some bee flies have a very long proboscis for probing flowers.
Bee flies parasitize a number of other insect orders, sometimes hovering above a hole or crevice and dropping an egg near the hole while in flight. The egg hatches and the larva enters the hole.
Identifying a bee fly requires closely observing several features, including the wing with its distinctive vein pattern.