Hover Flies are often mistaken for sweat bees, but there are a few differences. I am sure that you have encountered them on hot, sunny, humid days swarming around and wanting to land on arms and legs and exposed skin. The flies are interested in moisture on our skin that is salty. Their appearance may have a metallic shine to the body. This fly only has one way to protect itself; it is called “mimicry”. Mimicry is when an animal or insect takes on characteristics of a more dominant species in order to scare away predators. The hover fly looks like a little yellow and black wasp with very large eyes. The hover fly takes on the appearance of a wasp to intimidate. Actually, this fly cannot sting or bite because it does not possess a stinger and only has sponging/lapping mouth parts. A sweat bee on the other hand is somewhat fuzzy and has the ability to sting but only does so when swatted at or threatened. Hover flies are very important in pollination. In their immature stage, they will eat aphids, and their main source of nourishment as adults is pollen. One interesting bit of information is that hover flies, often called corn flies, can hover in the air and dart in any direction including up, down and backwards with ease. It’s good to know that flies have two wings while bees and wasps have four wings. In conclusion, hover flies are beneficial to man and are not to be feared.