Bee-fly Watch

First bee-fly photo in 2022, by Terry CrowFirst bee-fly to be photographed in 2022! Photo by Terry Crow on 7 March 2022, near Southampton

Join in with Bee-fly Watch 2023!

Bee-flies are distinctive furry flies that can be seen in many parts of Britain in spring, often hovering over flowers in gardens as well as wild habitats. Bee-fly Watch, now into its eighth year, gathers together records of the sightings that people make. This helps monitor changes in their distribution and flight period, but it is also fun! Excitement builds as we wait for sunny spring weather to bring out the first bee-flies of the year, and it is great to see so much enthusiasm for these intriguing and cute insects. Follow #BeeFlyWatch on social media to share the interest!

There are two species of bee-fly that are usually on the wing from late February or March to June, with two further species that fly in the summer and are restricted to certain parts of the country.

Taking part

It's easy to join in with Bee-fly Watch!

  • Download our identification guides to check which species you are seeing:
  • When you see a bee-fly, note the data and location, and add the record to iRecord using the form below, or via the normal iRecord website and app routes. (If you use iNaturalistUK your records will be included but you won't get the direct feedback that is possible on iRecord.)
  • If you're new to bee-flies, or at all unsure of what you've seen, please upload a photo with your record. A photo is also requested if you find a bee-fly before March or after May.
  • But if you have recorded bee-flies before and are confident of your identification there is no need to add a photo with every record, just add the usual details of where and when.

FSC Natural History Live webinar recording: "A to Z of Bee-flies"


See also:

Many thanks to the team who help ensure that records are checked promptly: Martin Harvey, Lloyd Davies, Will George, David Basham, Victoria Burton, Tony Madgwick, Garret Maguire, Megan Shersby, Robin Hutchinson.