Coincidence seeing this news story today about pollinators in urban gardens vs rural farming and wild environments.
In our current rented town garden situation we have just a few pots of flowers, and after a minor infestation of aphids a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the flowers were teeming the last few days with hover flies. Many different varieties and sizes, some only about 4mm long, some almost pass for honey bees – but all hover flies – 20 or more on each pot. Never been aware of so many before.
I understood hover-flies were carnivores, eating aphids and the like, but most of them are dropping into the flower heads for nectar so far as I can tell, even onto the anthers of the lilies.
(PS got rid of the aphids and green-fly by physically picking off and washing with very dilute household detergent – effective as ever.)