I am hoping KC will see this. I think this is a Bumble Bee, but I haven't had time to go through all the photos on Bugguide to determine the subspecies. I have quit a few of these nectaring in my garden.
My educated guess would be it is a humble bumble. But without seeing its face, I cannot be sure. From behind, that is what a Laphria thoracica yellow female would look like too. If you saw it flying from flower to flower, collecting nectar, then it is a bumble.
Here is a link that might be useful: Laphria thoracica
Interesting bumblebee mimic that KC links too; but the above insect has a posture unlikely for a robber fly. Bees work over the flowers; robber flies work over the bees (and others)!
I agree, Larry. I was just covering my bases in case there was some poor insect at the bottom of that flower that is getting worked over.
I've had a large orange robber fly hanging around my yard this summer. Never seen one of them before. I have not tried to figure out what it is yet. I've also seen a decent size bright red dragonfly show up numerous times. That one is higher priority but I still have not touched my Ohio Dragonflies book.
I have quite a few of these Bumble bees working over the flowers in my garden. It's really hard to get a photo of their heads cause they are always down inside a flower. I'm not too far from Laura, so I would imagine she has bumbles as well.
I don't recall seeing one of the robber flies described in the link. However, I don't particularly need another predator around here. They are always in abundance, as I have a huge amount of insects present in the garden, butterflies, moths, bees, flies, wasps, dragon and damselflies, etc, and of course, all the bad guys. And, with all these insects, lots of birds are around, too, trying to catch a meal. And then there are the frogs and toads . . .
I have so many bees Sandy that I can't even begin to take photos of all of them - and yes, most of the time they are half way in a flower or are moving so fast from flower to flower that they don't have time to stop and pose for me.
I have lots of tree frogs in the garden right now - tons and tons of baby green ones all with plump little bellies so I know they are feasting. I also found a few small praying mantids this week, and I've got spiders everywhere.
I'm going to try to take more pics of the bees today. There are definitely carpenter bees as well - they seem to like the passion flowers and the catmint the best.