Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
November 12, 2010 8:45 pm
I haven’t seen the bug yet, but something completely covered the hole in a decorative birdhouse on my porch with a thick, shiny, sticky substance that looks like it has dried bits of stuff embedded in it. It’s been closed over for about a week and today I noticed the hole was open and I saw a glimpse of an insect head, but it ducked back into the birdhouse. What in the world can this be?
Signature: Linda G
Bumble Bees frequently nest in empty bird houses and Bumble Bees provision the nest with honey. We have an awesome image in our archives of a Red Tailed Bumble Bee nest in a birdhouse and another image from earlier this year of a Bumble Bee nest in a bird house in Oklahoma. According to the Bee Man Exterminators website (which does not condone the removal or extermination of Bumble Bee nests): “They often nest in bird houses using the old bird nest from a past year to nest in.” Our best guess is that this might somehow be related to a nest of Bumble Bees and the oozing may be honey. We would be thrilled to post any additional images of the insect should you be able to secure any, and we would love to be able to assist in clearing up this mystery.
Thanks for the reply. I had put the whole birdhouse in a big plastic bin on Friday evening and during the day on Saturday the “bee” came out….not very lively, but crawling around on the bottom of the bin. Earlier today I put in some wildflower weeds from my yard for him and he went right to them and started crawling around from flower to flower. When I checked again at dinner, he was latched onto a flower and not moving at all, so I went for the camera. I picked the whole stem out and took a couple of pictures thinking he was dead since he hadn’t moved at all and poof!…off he flew! I’m attaching the 3 pictures I did get. When I googled iridescent green bee, I checked out a couple sites….could he be a “sweat bee”? And why would there only be 1? In 2 days, there was nothing else coming out of the birdhouse. And the stuff gooking down from the hole is black, almost like tar! So WEIRD! But I guess a lot is weird in the bug world. If you can give me any other info, I’d love it!
Thank you so much for the interest and the reply!
Your bee is an Orchid Bee Euglossa viridissima, a recent immigrant to Florida first reported to What’s That Bug in 2003 or 2005, or somewhere in between.
Thank You, Thank You!!!!! After I googled Orchid Bee and checked out several sites with pictures, I’m sure that’s what he (she) was! I’m glad it wasn’t something nasty like the African Killer bees! I’ll be on the lookout for more hanging around my porterweed…it really was very pretty!
I love watching butterflies, caterpillars and such and try to make my yard welcoming to all sorts of wildlife…it was very exciting to see something so unusual and thanks to you it’s been identified!
UPDATE: November 17, 2010
Just a quick follow-up on my orchid bee that you identified….I hung my birdhouse back up on my porch without cleaning off the black resin goop and when I came home last evening, it was closed up again! Totally! After being completely open since last Friday. And just a little while ago, I went out for mail and there is a hole about the size of a tack, so I’m guessing the bee came back, more were inside and just never appeared over the weekend when it was inside the big bin, or another 1 or more have taken over the nest!? Whatever, it sure is fascinating! Funny I’ve never see any activity in over a month of watching the resin get bigger, close over completely and then the holes during the day. Should I report my orchid bee to anyone? If so, who or where should I look to find it….guess I can google it like I did to find you!
Thanks for the update Linda. We don’t think you need to report your Green Orchid Bee as it is already known they are well established in Florida.