Subject: Red and Black beetles
Geographic location of the bug: Corona, CA
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I have seen these beetles en masse during late winter through mid spring for years and haven’t seen a clear answer in my searches. There was hundreds of these near the bushes and a downed and mulched tree (although the tree had been taken down quite some time ago).
How you want your letter signed: KJS
These are not beetles. They are Red Shouldered Bugs, Jadera haematoloma, and your image depicts both a mating pair and an immature nymph. According to BugGuide, the habitat is: “Yards, gardens, riparian areas, and other areas in association with hostplants. Often found in large aggregations feeding on leaking tree sap, dead insects, or seeds that have fallen from trees overhead. Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.”