Subject: Wazzat bug?
Geographic location of the bug: Snohomish, WA
Time: 04:25 PM EDT
OK, bug guys (&gals!) – whaddizzit?
This bug was crawling around my garage today. At the tender age of 62, I thought I’d seen most of the common creepy-crawlers/flyers. Looks like a type of beetle, but image search and on-line research has not helped. Lemme know if I have discovered something that was thought to be extinct, and hasn’t been known to fly/crawl them thar parts for millions of years. I’m guessing that’s most probably the case. Surely it is related to some rare dinosaur. Make my day – tell me I’m right! But wait – I let it go free. OH, NO!
How you want your letter signed: Sandi Ellenwood
This is a Bumble Bee, and according to A Field Guide to Common Puget Sound Native Bees, it appears to be a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. The Arboretum Foundation has a Getting to know our native northwest bees page that also mentions and pictures the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee. According to BugGuide: “The most abundant and widespread species in cismontane California and generally numerous across the Pacific States at lower elevations.” We are surprised that your letter indicates you take an interest in “creepy-crawlers” but that you did not recognize a Bumble Bee. We are well aware of decreasing populations of both native and domestic Bees, probably due to the wide use of pesticides, which might explain why you have never seen a Bumble Bee in 62 years, but at least they are not yet extinct.