You’ve found a… hornet-mimic hoverfly!

Hornet mimic hoverfly on a teasel. Photo by Kathy Aitken.

Hornet-mimic hoverflies may look like big bees, wasps or hornets but they’re not, and they’re harmless – they have no sting and are just pretending to be hornets to look scary!

These hoverflies only came to Britain in the 1940s, but are now quite common in the south of England. Find out more about them on Bug Life UK.

In the Old Pond Garden, we see them on lots of pollinator-friendly flowers. Although they only live for a short time, they are the gardener’s friend – they are great pollinators, and their larvae eat the aphids that can damage our plants.

Have a look at a hornet hoverfly in close-up detail:

Find all the Bugs in the Old Pond Garden (there are ten altogether), put the letters together and find the final Bug!
If you spot any real live bugs / creatures / insects in the Old Pond Garden today, try to take a photograph and find out what it is. We’d love to see it, so if you post on Instagram you can tag us: @cabahs_hortisoc and use the hashtag #BugsInTheBeds

This page is part of the ‘Bugs in the Beds’ trail running on the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, on 21st May 2023.