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Do you recognize these flying insects that seem to enjoy broccoli flowers?

I have several almond trees around, and bees are busy these days but I'm not sure these particular insects are of any benefit.

I'm in the mediterranean, north of Africa.

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migrated from gardening.stackexchange.com Mar 6 at 21:58

This question came from our site for gardeners and landscapers.

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    I would guess it is a species of bee - most likely what would be called a "bumblebee" in the UK. There are about 250 species of Bombus. They mostly live in small nests with up to about 50 individuals, not large groups like honey bees. They are just as beneficial in pollinating plants (and harmless to humans) as honey bees. – alephzero Mar 6 at 16:24
  • I'm really puzzled as to why this was moved here. The other SE site has several questions about insect identification (under an insect tag) that didn't get migrated, always in the context of plant culture, and it seems to me this one is completely relevant to gardening/landscaping (benefit to OP's plants). The current answer was even provided by a user from that community that joined this one to answer. – Gabriel C. Mar 7 at 14:49
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It is a species of scarab beetle. It looks very much like "Tropinota hirta" (hirta means hairy) which is quite common in the Mediterranean region, but might also be Tropinota squalida. They are fruit crop pests and, as a general group, are also known as "chafers". Another common name for this pest is "apple blossom beetle". They are probably most attracted to your Almond trees. Below are a few links that may lead you to further information.

https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tropinota_hirta

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropinota_squalida

https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/V46-3065336

  • It seems that they have not much interest in almonds as opposed to broccoli. They seem addicted to broccoli flowers for some reason, they're like 10 or 20 hovering the plant and spending very longtime on flowers. It's really strange. Not sure if I should leave them there enjoying broccoli instead of almonds or get rid of the flowers and hope they leave. Are there any predators for them? – ammoun Mar 7 at 17:49
  • Yes, they like flowers. They are considered destructive pests, but since your broccoli is already going to seed, they probably won't ruin your crop. You can remove them, but others will probably come and take their place. – user22542 Mar 7 at 17:54

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