Could it be a Horsefly?
Seems rather similar
Google Image Result for http://www.whatsthatbug.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/horse_fly_veronica.jpg
Snapped this in the garden yesterday. Very large, bumble bee size and quite mean looking!!
Pretty sure its not a hornet though.
Nay - not a horsefly they are about that size but speckled grey in colour with red 'eyes' they seem to fly soundlessly and the first you know about them is when you receive an almighty pain after they have bitten you. Big time ouch! Horse-fly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The one in your excellent picture seems to be a bee of some sort. We had a bee start nesting in a compost bin in our garden about a month ago. I rang the local bee expert concerned as to what to do about it and the potential for stings and he asked me to leave it be and let the bees get on with their job of pollination telling me that they would evacuate in September. So far they have been good as gold and busily flying in and out on a regular basis.
Hornets are nasty looking beasties about four times the size of wasp and slightly darker in colour. I suppose they all play a valuable part in the Eco chain but there is just something about wasps, hornets and flys that has me reaching for the swatter - I get the most satisfaction though from whacking a horse / grey fly as without a doubt a bite from one of them is the one that has left the most painful lasting impression on me!
Yer.... Chris that hornet moth can bugger right off!
If it ain't a bee, it's lunch for the spiders
It is a cracking photo.
Bloody love bees.
Gold star for Geoff here. Definitely a species of hoverfly. The pic below was taken from a website depicting several species. Glad its harmless as I was getting a bit nervous when getting close to snap it! Must admit I thought hoverflies were all very small harmless looking things.
Hornets can be pretty mean looking and their sting is pretty bad as I once found out to my cost.
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