The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2014-02-03 12:29:29

Judy Webb
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 415

Flies as pollinators and chocolate

Flies are important pollinators.  A common perception on looking at garden flowers is to think they are covered in bees or wasps, but frequently one is actually seeing honeybee-mimic and  bumblebee-mimic flies in the genera Eristalis, Episyrphus, Volucella or Criorhina as just a few examples . Not forgetting Muscids and Tachinids can also mimic hymenoptera and love flowers!  The bristly bodies of many flies mean they are good at trapping pollen and thus carrying pollen from flower to flower.

Anybody interested in how to keep eating chocolate we need to be thankful to midges for pollinationg cocoa flowers (and other interesting fly pollination facts) might like a look at:

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollin … lies.shtml

Also I remind anybody wanting to find out what flowers favour flies in one's own garden (sometimes this is the same as for bees, but there are important differences) that I wrote an article on this topic in the Dipterists Bulletin No 73, Spring 2012.  This is not yet available as a download from this website but will become so.   It can be accessed on the web at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/marilyn.co … %202-2.pdf

Just one tiny nugget from this article to whet your appetite. If you can get hold of it and your garden is suitable in terms of soil and light, get yourself a couple of shrubs of Bupleurum fruticosum, the Shrubby Hare's Ear - yellow umbelliferous flowers, garden worthy and almost as good as hogweed at attracting flies.  see, for example   http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=4402


Last edited by Judy Webb (2014-02-03 12:39:18)



#2 2014-02-04 02:51:45

DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 639

Re: Flies as pollinators and chocolate

And I found the Ami majus you recommended to be first class. Only issue being that it needs sowing each year, being an annual that has not self sown. But worth the effort. I got Stratiomys potamida on mine in year 1 of growing it in my garden in the middle of Shrewsbury. Lots of other flies and bees plus wasps too.

Nigel Jones



#3 2014-02-04 20:46:33

Andrew Cunningham
DF Members
Name: Andrew Cunningham
From: Devon, UK.
Registered: 2010-11-05
Posts: 890

Re: Flies as pollinators and chocolate

As a result of this, I have ordered some Bupleurum fruticosum and some Ammi majus. I look forward to some success hopefully.




#4 2014-02-07 18:53:14

Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 900

Re: Flies as pollinators and chocolate

Well done Judy, a very important topic- well done



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