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

Subject: Solitary bees of Arizona
Location: central Arizona
November 25, 2013 10:30 am
Hello and howdy do!
Here are two photos of solitary bees supping nectar from Arizona sunflowers in August of this year. I wonder if you can verify the tribes of said bees (or even specific species!) by these two photos. Thank you so much for your time.
Signature: T. Stone

Longhorned Bee

Male Longhorned Bee

Dear T. Stone,
We agree with your Longhorned Bee identification from the tribe Eucerini, but we are not certain of anything more specific.  The orange antennae are distinctive, and they are also evident in this photo from BugGuide of a member of the genera
Melissodes or Tetraloniella.  There is a photo on BugGuide of a female member of the genus Melissodes that looks like your other photo, so we would not rule out the possibility of your photos representing a male and female of the same species.  Here is another photo from BugGuide of a male member of the genus Melissodes with the orange antennae.

Possibly Female Longhorned Bee

Possibly Female Longhorned Bee

Eric Eaton Confirms, and cautions about Accuracy with species differentiation.
Daniel:
Two bees in the Apidae tribe Eucerini.  I am not sure how they can be identified beyond tribe from images alone, especially since Arizona is an epicenter of global bee diversity.
Hope you had a nice holiday.
Eric

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Subject: Honey bee?
Location: Houston, TX
November 23, 2013 7:53 pm
I put a log on the fire and, sadly, it was inhabited by this bee. It was stuck in the fireplace screen and when I tried to remove it, it’s head fell off. I tried to put it back together. It seems larger and darker than a regular honey bee, but not quite a bumblebee. Suggestions? Thanks!
Signature: treyzmama

Leaf-Cutting Bee

Leaf-Cutting Bee

Dear treyzmama,
This appears to be a Leaf-Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile.  According to BugGuide:  “Most nest in pre-existent holes in wood. Female typically cuts neat, more-or-less round pieces out of leaves to serve as separators between cells of nest.”  There was most likely a nest in the log you threw on the fire.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Planting Cosmos
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
November 18, 2013
We used to have Cosmos flowers that naturalized in our garden many years ago after an initial planting in around 2001.  The seeds would drop and we would get new plants each year.  One especially wet year, they grew to well over six feet tall.  Cosmos is an excellent plant for attracting pollinating insects.  We even posted photos of a female Leafcutter Bee on our blossoms in 2006.  Alas, for the past two years we have not had any Cosmos come up on its own, and we didn’t make the effort to purchase any new seeds.

Leaf Cutter Bee on Cosmos

Leaf Cutter Bee on Cosmos

Then several weeks ago, we identified a Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee  for Anna in Hawthorne, and she offered to send us some seeds.  They arrived a few days ago and we have been planting Cosmos seeds among the winter vegetables we put in this weekend, beginning with carrots and onions.  We hope to be able to provide you with photos of insects visiting our Cosmos in the near future.  This is a good time to plant Cosmos in Southern California, but this charming annual can be grown throughout North America, and we would strongly suggest Cosmos as an ideal plant for a bug friendly garden.

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – Bee or Wasp or Bee Wasp?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
October 15, 2013 9:33 pm
Hi Daniel,
This was on the Cosmos blooms in back today. I think it’s not the same sand wasp that we submitted a while back, but is it in the same family?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Possibly Scarab Hunter Wasp

Cuckoo Leaf Cutter Bee

Hi Anna,
Your recent photos are inspiring us to plant cosmos in the garden again.  We planted them many years ago, and one year they were about six feet tall.  They naturalized, but over the years, they have stopped coming up on their own.  We may have to plant a pack of seeds this winter.  This wasp reminds us of a male Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Campsomeris tolteca, that we photographed on native baccharis in Elyria Canyon Park several years ago.  The photo on BugGuide is much clearer than the photos we took.  We will check with Eric Eaton to see if this is a closely related species or if we are totally in left field.

Possibly Scarab Hunter Wasp

Cuckoo Leaf Cutter Bee

Eric Eaton Provides a Correction:  Cuckoo Leaf Cutter Bee
Daniel:
This is way smaller than a Campsomeris.  It is a cuckoo leafcutter bee, genus Coelioxys.  This one is a female.  Males have a blunt tip to the abdomen, though there are often teeth or spikes on the tip.
Eric

Hi Daniel,
I’m glad you are thinking of planting cosmos.  We make it a point to keep it around, as it attracts many “new to us” bugs.  Additionally, the Lesser Goldfinches and American Goldfinches hungrily partake of the seeds.  Our cosmos are about my height this year, 5′ 8″.  We can send you seeds if you wish . . .
I’m most likely incorrect, but I don’t think this wasp is Campsomeris tolteca.  It’s coloring is more that of the sand wasp in the family Bembix, and it doesn’t seem to have as “hairy” a body as the Campsomeris tolteca.  http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2013/10/04/sand-wasp-8/.  We hope Eric Eaton has time to respond, and thank you once again.
Anna

Hi Anna,
It would be so sweet of you to send cosmos seeds.  We think we will take you up on the offer.

Daniel and Eric,
Oh, joy!  I’m excited to have an id for a “new to us” bug.  Thank you.
Anna

Hi Daniel,
I will start collecting soon.  You are most kind.
Anna

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wool Carder Bee
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
September 2, 2013 6:27 pm
Dear Bugman,
Once again, your site has served as a valuable resource in my ’backyard bugging’. Today I came across what appears to be a wool carder bee, as submitted by previous guests here. I did observe some very aggressive behavior by this fellow as he pounced on the contentedly grazing bees on my giant hyssop. BugGuide says ”they visit garden flowers and weeds preferring blue flowers that have long throats”, so this plant species fits right in. I say it is a ”he” as a previous poster had pointed out that there are three rasps at the end of the abdomen, however I found here (http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/beginners-bees-and-wasps-anthidium-manicatum) that there are actually 5 rasps, the other two higher up the abdomen on either side which can be seen in photo #2 if you look very closely. Thanks again for providing such a fantastic site – it has really helped me get a jumping off point for doing more investigating on my own.
Signature: DaleShannon

Wool Carder Bee

Wool Carder Bee

Hi Dale,
Thanks for sending in your photos of a male Wool Carder Bee and also for providing us with information from your research.  This University of California Newsroom article also has some interesting information.

Male Wool Carder Bee showing abdominal spikes

Male Wool Carder Bee showing abdominal spikes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown bee/flry
Location: Near Prescott, Ontario on the St. Lawrence River
July 7, 2013 1:25 pm
On July 1st I noticed a insect flying around my flowers that I’ve never seen before. It looked like a honey bee but it had a wider abdomen and rather than stripes, it had yellow ”blocks” down each side of the abdomen. It was about the size of a bumblebee. It was hanging around the salvia plant but it didn’t act like a regular bee. It kept landing on leaves and just sitting there or it would land on a flower, briefly walk a few steps and then take off again. It didn’t seem to be collecting nectar like bees do. With so many invasive insects around, I was concerned. This salvia plant is next to my mulberry tree. So I grabbed my camera and took several pictures. Sometimes it would sit like this with it’s wings open but other times it would sit with it’s wings closed over it’s back just like a bee.
Signature: Joan

European Wool Carder Bee

European Wool Carder Bee

Hi Joan,
This is a non-native European Wool Carder Bee, Anthidium manicatum, and the jury is still out on if this is considered an invasive species or merely one that is not native, but does not significantly, negatively impact our New World ecosystems.  We will do additional research.  Meanwhile, BugGuide has some information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination