Bombylius major has been found in many countries across all biogeographical regions apart from Australasia.
It is the most common bee-fly species in the UK where it occurs in southern England, the Midlands and the Welsh lowlands, but has also been recorded in southern Scotland and along the northwest coast.
Bombylius major is found in a wide variety of habitats including gardens and the edges of woodlands. Its major requirement is the presence of the host species. Loss of host habitats therefore has a direct impact on the survival of this species.