What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

interesting red ’bee’?
Location: west flank of west flank coastal mountains above pescadero, california
May 26, 2011 9:14 pm
found this pollinator on a ceanothus blossom, above pescadero, california. i’ve searched through google without success. can you provide any information? this is purely a curiosity question so there is absolutely no hurry. i am an ardent gardener and am in the early stages of introducing bee hives to our san francisco neighborhood.
thank you!!!
Signature: chris dillon, san francisco, ca.

Solitary Bee

Hi Chris,
We are supposed to be reducing the number of images we need for our presentation at Theodore Payne Foundation tomorrow, and your photo would be an excellent addition.  We agree that this is a Solitary Bee, but we haven’t the time this morning to research the species.  It sure is a pretty little bee.

Perhaps this is the Mining Bee,
Andrena prima, which is represented on BugGuide from Oklahoma and Arizona.

good morning, daniel!
i’d be delighted to have you use my “red bee” image!  i love taking pictures of insects…& being recently retired, i can now do so more attentively.   i have a battered, because i’m clumsy(!), little canon power shot camera which suits my purpose very well.  i had a wonderful time capturing this image!
she is beautiful!
the red bee was the only one of her type amongs a busy crew of more traditional honeybees and two very loudly buzzing, seemingly irritable & frantic, huge glittering black solitary bees.  they were all engaged in harvesting from both fremontia and ceanothus plants/trees.  the red bee pictured was much less “vivacious” than her associates.  she systematically and thoroughly explored each petal of each flower which she chose to settle upon.   i was at yerba buena nursery, a magical  native plant resource, which is somewhat isolated on the western flank of the coastal mountains, between santa cruz and san francisco.  kathy, the owner, was able to provide info on the black bees.
thank you for your request!   i’ll now search for the theodore payne foundation which you mentioned…this retirement life certainly opens many “learning portals”!

Update:  April 3, 2014
Thanks to a comment from Curious Girl, we believe this may be a cleptoparasitic Sweat Bee in the genus Sphecodes, which is well represented on BugGuide.

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

3 Responses to Unknown Solitary Bee may be Sweat Bee

  1. Curious Girl says:

    This seems to be a Sphecodes cuckcoo bee:


    I have a couple pictures of one last year in Porto going and coming out of a hole in the ground (presumedly a mining bee nest). At first I was afraid because of the bright red bottom but was then inspired to learn more. Now I am enamored of the bees and the flies which just seem to get more and more interesting.

  2. I was stung buy a black bee it was about one inch long and to had a yellow dot on its back .i don’t know what kind it was but when it stung me my whole arm hurt .I took pictures and I have been stung buy a lot it things but never hurt this bad can you tell me what it is because it is still out there

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