Currently viewing the category: "Bees"

Subject:  Odd discovery in SOUth Africa- What bee is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Coastline of SOuth Africa – Eastern Cape
Date: 09/22/2021
Time: 06:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman – my mother found this bee in Mbotyi – the Eastern Cape town in South AFrica. It looks like a Valley Carpenter bee which is highly unlikely – can you assist?
How you want your letter signed:  Jason M

Male Carpenter Bee: Xyclocopa caffra

Dear Jason,
This is a Carpenter Bee, just not the Valley Carpenter Bee which is native to the North American southwest.  We believe your individual is a Male Carpenter Bee:
Xyclocopa caffra, based on this image posted on USGS Science for a Changing World.

Subject:  Longhorned Bees settle in for the night
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/01/2021
Time: 7:01 PM EDT
Gentle Readers,
The sunflowers that have grown from the fallen black oil seeds Daniel has been feeding birds when he is in Ohio have grown into landscaping.  The flowers attract a wealth of pollinators.  Last week Daniel took some images of these male Longhorned Bees settling in the for night, an activity referred to as a “Bachelor Party” and it caused Daniel to ponder if two male Longhorned Bees constitute a party.

Male Longhorned Bees

 

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee on Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/15/2021
Time: 09:24 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This is not the first time I have seen a Honey Bee on my Cannabis.  The herb is pollinated by the wind.  Why are the Honey Bees attracted to my Cannabis?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee

Dear Constant Gardener.
Thanks for your Food Chain image.  We don’t know why Honey Bees are attracted to
Cannabis.  There is a lengthy article on Bee Culture called Bees and Cannabis that states:  “The cannabis plant is mostly wind pollinated and therefore has not evolved to attract bees. It does not produce a smell that would attract bees, nor is it colorful and finally, and most importantly, it is unable to provide a reward in the form of floral nectar. As those familiar with Apis mellifera know, it is nectar and not pollen that is required by bees to make honey. But the male plant does provide pollen in some circumstances. The existing scholarly article on the topic (Dalio, J.S., 2012) notes that cannabis pollen seems to be a food of last resort for bees. The author notes that bees (in India where the observations occurred) turned to cannabis plants as a source of protein but only visited male plants during times of dehiscence when the male plant’s reproductive organs released pollen and that bees were only interested in that pollen during a pollen dearth.”

Subject:  Unidentified predatory insect Italy
Geographic location of the bug:  Abruzzo Italy
Date: 07/04/2021
Time: 12:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, can you help me identify this obviously predatory insect which appears to be feeding on a bee. The photo was taken 1/7/2021 in Abruzzo Itay. I have shown the photo locally but no-one seems to recognise it.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  J. Seymour

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Dear J. Seymour,
This is one impressive Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We believe it is
Pogonosoma maroccanum which is pictured in our archives.   It is pictured on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility site and on the Smithsonian EOL site.

Subject:  Solitary Bee and Gray Hairstreak
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 11:01 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
There are numerous native Bees visiting blossoms in Daniel’s garden right now, and he does have difficulty with some species identifications.  This pollen-laden Solitary Bee was being very elusive, flying away when Daniel aimed his magicphone and attempted to move in for a closeup.  Most of the images are blurry.  When a Gray Hairstreak appeared and Daniel turned his attention to the Gossamer Wing, the Solitary Bee decided to ZOOM bomb the photo.  The Bee may be
Anthophorula albicans which is pictured on BugGuide and the Natural History of Orange County.

Solitary Bee and Gray Hairstreak

 

Subject:  Great Golden Digger Wasp
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/15/2021
Time: 6:53 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
It has been several years since Daniel has seen a Great Golden Digger Wasp in the garden, but like in years past, they show a preference for blooming onions.  This was an impressive specimen, and Daniel hopes to be able to get a sharper image in the next few days.  There is a healthy Katydid population in Daniel’s garden, so the Great Golden Digger Wasps should have no problem hunting for prey to feed her brood.

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Update:  06/18/2021
The Great Golden Digger Wasp returned to the blooming onion flowers the next afternoon, and Daniel was lucky enough to capture one image with a Honey Bee.  The Honey Bee is a good indication of the size difference between the two insect, with the Great Golden Digger Wasp being about three times the size of the Honey Bee.

Great Golden Digger Wasp and Honey Bee

Update:  06/25/2021
Daniel has been seeing a Great Golden Digger Wasp visiting the onions almost every day and today there were two Great Golden Digger Wasps on one onion flower, but alas, by the time Daniel pulled his magicphone from his pocket and opened the camera app, changing the focal length to 2X to better zoom in, one had flown off.  Daniel was only able to get an image of a solitary Great Golden Digger Wasp.

Great Golden Digger Wasp