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bee fly

noun
1.
any of numerous dipterous insects of the family Bombyliidae, some of which resemble bees.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55, Americanism
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bee fly

bee fly

noun
1.
any hairy beelike nectar-eating dipterous fly of the family Bombyliidae, whose larvae are parasitic on those of bees and related insects
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for bee fly

any insect of the family Bombyliidae (order Diptera). Many resemble bees, and most have long proboscises (feeding organs) that are used to obtain nectar from flowers. Their metallic brown, black, or yellow colour is attributable to a covering of dense hair; in many species the body and sometimes the wings bear patches of delicate and easily abraded scales. Some bee flies are quite small, and their immature stages are unknown. Many species, including the largest and most showy, are tropical; but some species with a length of more than 1 cm (0.4 inch) live in temperate regions. They are usually found on flowers around sunny, grassy places.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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