What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
Hi Daniel,
I was happy to hear from you,and wanted to let you know that as soon as I can I will send some pictures for your site,things tend to go in cycles with me getting busier at certain times as well,however in the meantime I’m sending a picture,not resized to your sites specs, just the site it was submitted to,but just so you can see because I’m wondering if you can tell me what kind of insect this is…it acts like a bee,and I’ve seen them around my yard a lot,and have always called them little green bees,but I have no clue as to what they actually are,I live in South Florida,near the Fort Lauderdale area. I submit to photography sites,so most likely I’ll be asked by everyone what it is,I’m really hoping you’ll know!!!
Thanks very much,
Beth Bernier

Hi Beth,
Your photo is absolutely gorgeous. We were unsure exactly what your beautiful metallic insect was. It is colored like a sweat bee or a cuckoo wasp, but its body form resembled a fly more. The telltale feature of a fly is that they have two and not four wings. We are turning to a more knowledgeable source:
“Dear Daniel: Boy, that sure does look like an orchid bee in the genus Euglossa, but as far as I know, they are found strictly south of the Mexican border. I suppose it could be a recent introduction (or something else I am unfamiliar with), Definitely an apid bee of some sort. Thanks for sharing!
Later Eric wrote back
Euglossa bee? Daniel:
Here is a real expert answer as to what the bee is (it is a Euglossa sp.), and how it might have turned up so far out of its normal range.
Dear Friends, esp. Doug Y:
I think this is a Euglossa sp. bee, but what would it be doing in Ft. Lauderdale???
Obviously, it’s visiting flowers. 😉
At any rate, this is not surprising, given that it’s a well-known phenomenon for hurricanes to move insects around. Many, MANY of the odd US records for Mexican lepidoptera coincide with major storms – and I certainly think this year would qualify as a major storm year. So, I would expect such a stray to be a meaningless data point, especially as it’s a male Euglossa – though if there’s one, there may be more, and if that includes some fertilized females, then who knows? Climatically, there isn’t really any obvious reason southern Florida couldn’t support orchid bees. If there are repeated sightings in the future, then at least we have some evidence pointing to this being the year the invasion might have occurred.
Doug Yanega
Dept. of Entomology, Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California – Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315
(standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR’s)

Hi Daniel,
Well that’s quite exciting news!!! If your expert friends are interested..I can tell you that these bees have been here at least a year,perhaps longer as I have been trying to get a good photo of one for at least that long,and there have been at a few bees present most times,they seem to love my wild morning glories,as well as the flowers shown in the image,in fact they seem to be quite attracted to any flower in the violet/blue color. I’ve also seen them before at a nearby nature preserve called Fern Forest.My exact address is 5500 SW 6th Court in Margate,Fl. That’s so an exact location can be noted,also if there’s anyone that wishes to contact me about the bees for scientific purposes please feel free to give them my email address. Thank you again for your help!

Update: (12/14/2006)
Hello my name is Lance I have seen this bug as well in South Florida. It is bright green and an incredible flier. I have seen this bug hover in a single spot as still as a statue, then very quickly dart just a couple of inches over left or right or forward. I wish I could get a picture of it. It went into a hole it made or something else made burrowed into concrete….perhaps building a nest….I just wanted you all to know the behavior so maybe it would help better understand it….maybe a new kind of bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Florida

6 Responses to Euglossa Orchid Bee

  1. tor says:

    I have just seen a blue shiny bee in the south east coast of Australia, looks just like a normal bee with blue metal armor. never seen before in 40 years.

  2. Susan says:

    I just saw this orchid bee on my basil plant. So pretty! I live in west Lake Worth, Fla.

  3. judith says:

    I have this beautiful green bee on my patio, it really seems to love my white bacopa plant. I have never seen this before and I have no orchids. From Sarasota, Fla.

  4. Monica says:

    I saw one today they are beautiful
    Orlando, Florida ?

  5. Mia says:

    My daughter just got stung by one in North Palm Beach. Thank you for the info so we could determine what this insect was that bit her!

  6. Keith Proud says:

    We live in Holly Hill, FL which is alongside Daytona Beach. We have one or more of these green bees in a nest in the ground, just outside our front door. This is the second year they (it?) have made a nest in that same spot. We do not use pesticides, and haven’t for many years. Plus there are a variety of flowers in the yard, including orchids. I’ll send a photo if I can get a decent one.

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