Currently viewing the category: "Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown pollinator
Location: Central Texas
March 24, 2014 5:57 pm
Can you help me identify this pollinator? The picture was taken mid-morning in central Texas on 3/18.
Signature: DanaK

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Dear DanaK,
This is a Honey Bee, a common species that has been kept domestically for thousands of years.

Thanks. Now I feel stupid, but glad to know what it is. I guess we just don’t see many actual honey bees here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wood boring wasp?
Location: brisbane Australia
March 23, 2014 12:40 am
Hey bugman just wondering what this is. Has been boring into wood for years and we’ve never known what it is
Signature: wood boring wasp

Fire-Tailed Resin Bee

Fire-Tailed Resin Bee

This is a Bee, not a Wasp, and we quickly identified it as a Fire-Tailed Resin Bee, Megachile (Callomegachile) mystaceana, (Chalicodoma mystaceana), thanks to the Brisbane Insect Website where it states:  “This is a solitary bee and build nest by resin, gum or mud in enclosed spaces such as space between folds of fabric and old Mud-Dauber Wasp nest. They will nest in drilled wooden blocks too. … This Resin Bee female builds nest in existing cavity.”  If that information is accurate, something else is boring the holes that these resourceful and opportunistic Fire-Tailed Resin Bees are using as nesting sites.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Inch long far hairy yellow flying insect
Location: Walnut creek California
March 19, 2014 11:21 pm
I found this bug dying on my lawn today and am wondering if it is anything to be concerned about with respect to sting allergies? I have not seen it before and it’s size is concerning: an inch long, maybe more, very yellow and very hairy
Signature: Not needed

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee, and we just featured a posting of a sighting in after our own posting with a Mount Washington, Los Angeles sighting.  Male Bees, including Valley Carpenter Bees, are incapable of stinging because the stinger is a modified ovipositor, an organ for laying eggs, and only female bees can lay eggs.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees are black.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bumble bee
Location: Chino, California
March 17, 2014 9:46 am
I found this burnt orange bumble bee type bug on my walk in Chino, California this morning.(3-17-14)We do have bumble bees around here but I’ve never seen anything like this one.
Signature: Melissa

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Melissa,
We just posted a photo taken at our offices in Mount Washington yesterday of similar male Valley Carpenter Bees nectaring on wisteria.  We believe male bees emerge first and defend territory against other males, though that is just speculation.  The seem much more wary and flighty than the larger black females that are so sexually dimorphic that they appear to be a different species.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees are the largest Bees in California, and their eggs, according to BugGuide, are the largest of all insect eggs.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Male Valley Carpenter Bees nectar from wisteria
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 16, 2014  11:30 AM
This morning while working in the garden, we observed at least three male Valley Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa varipuncta, gathering nectar from the wisteria growing on the front porch.  The Valley Carpenter Bee exhibits extreme sexual dimorphism, with the male having a lovely golden color while the female, who appears to be a different species, is a deep black.  There were no black female Valley Carpenter Bees to be seen, though we did notice females earlier in the week.  The males fly for a very short period of time, unlike the females that live much longer so that they can have time to provision a nest with pollen for their broods.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bees are perfectly harmless, though they will attempt to defend territory.  Since they do not have stingers, they are incapable of harming a human.  Females do have stingers, but they are very reluctant to use them.  Valley Carpenter Bees frequently visit wisteria and sweet peas in our garden, but they do not have tongues long enough to reach the nectar, so they use their mandibles to pierce the base of the bloom, allowing access to the nectar.  In researching this posting, we learned on BugGuide that:  “Their eggs are the largest of all insect eggs. The Valley carpenter bee egg can be 15mm long. (UC, Davis).”  While taking these images, we observed the first Western Tiger Swallowtail of the year flying overhead, but it did not alight for the camera.  Guess our 90˚ temperatures today have brought out many spring creatures a bit early.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orchid bee?
Location: Royal palm beach florida
March 11, 2014 1:21 pm
I believe is orchid bee, do not have pic of actual bee, have had over a year now. he is quite interesting
Signature: Toni

What's Nesting in the Bird House???

What’s Nesting in the Bird House???

Dear Toni,
We are presuming that you attached two images of a bird house because the creature in question has nested inside the bird house.  Your letter did not describe the creature, which you have stated is a Bee.  The Orchid Bee,
Euglossa dilemma, is a bright green bee that is often seen hovering near blossoms.  If the Bee you have had for over a year is not bright green, it is not the Orchid Bee.  We have received another report of Green Orchid Bees nesting in an abandoned birdhouse, but Bumble Bees will also nest in a birdhouse.  Only the female Orchid Bee builds the nest, so you should use the pronoun “she” when referring to your creature.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination