There are many species of varying sizes but they all have the characteristic black-and-yellow-banded body.
They can be mistaken for wasps, and do in fact mimic them. However, they have a flatter abdomen and don’t have a ‘waist’ between the thorax and abdomen. They also have two wings, whereas wasps and bees have four. Wasps often have black dots along their abdomen.
Their ability to hover (hence the name) and dart around flowers makes them easy to identify.
The larvae are 8-10mm in size, legless and maggot-like, and can be green or brown.
Adult size: 8-10 mm