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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bright, almost glowing(radiant), curious, hornet/bee like unknown flying bug

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Question
There's this bright golden or orangish(almost glowing) bodied huge hornet/bee-like bug with dark brown striping on its abdomen. Exceptionally beautiful bug--you'll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful bug. It must be about 1-1.5 inches long. As far as I know, it only travels in groups of 1. Does alight often in plain view. Will even land on people--boots, if you are quiet enough). Seems very peaceful[not nervous at all like the wasp, hornet, or bumble bee--acts more like a cross between a European honey bee(peaceful) and a hummingbird(hovers as if curious)--as far as behavior] and will hover around you in the same exact spot until you move close enough to it. In which case, it will find another spot very close nearby. It seems to be examining you. I've never seen a curious bee like bug before. I know that it's not the Japanese Hornet; it's not like that nor does it look like that. ANY IDEAS? WHAT COULD IT BE?

Answer
Marcus:

It would certainly help to have an image of the insect, but I strongly suspect you are talking about a "hover fly," specifically this one:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-news-bee.html

If that is not it, then I am at a loss for other suspects given your description of its behavior.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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