Currently viewing the category: "Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Orange and black bee presume
Geographic location of the bug:  Uk Dewsbury wf12ort
Date: 09/16/2018
Time: 07:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I opened my door this morning to see a big black and Orange bee I think but not supposed to be in the UK  never seen this in all my 25 years
How you want your letter signed:  T.walker

Red Tailed Bumble Bee

Dear T.walker,
This Bumble Bee is so distinctive, we quickly found this Art by Tereska site with an illustration that includes the Red Tailed Bumble Bee,
Bombus lapidarius.  According to Bumblebee.org, it:  “is probably the most easily recognised species with its black body and bright orange tail.”  According to Nature Spot:  “Fairly common in Britain and have expanded northwards to include Scotland.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle bee?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Lincoln Nebraska
Date: 08/22/2018
Time: 09:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey bugman!
Question! May be an easy one but I’ve never seen anything like this before. I was sitting on my patio when this fella flew up. Looks like pollen maybe on the hind leg? It looks like a beetle and a bee but reminded me of a spider the way it sat and was quick moving like a startled spider?!
Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Dear Curious,
As you can see from this BugGuide image, this is a Common Eastern Bumble Bee.  Perhaps due to pesticides, or habitat loss, or some other reason, populations of native and Honey Bees are on the decline, making these once very common and easily recognized insects much less familiar to the casual observer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Subject:  Large bee hunting wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland,  Oregon
Date: 08/10/2018
Time: 05:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  For several years we’ve had a type of “hovering” yellow jacket type wasp that hunts and kills bees. Usually rip the wings off, rarely takes the bee, just leaves it to die. This year, huge fuzzy ones, sort of golden brown colored fur, have shown up. Yesterday alone I found a dozen injured bees. It also goes after bumblebees. Today I managed to kill one. It’s over 2cm long and has a 3 barbed tail. I cannot find anything comparable. Some kind of hybrid? Thoughts? Second photo is the monster next to one of the regular sized non fuzzy bee hunters.
How you want your letter signed:  Bee lover

Male European Wool Carder Bee: guilty of Apicide

Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 05:07 PM EDT
Dear bugman,
I have made a positive ID of the bee killer. They are, in fact, European wool carder bees, considered an invasive species here in Oregon. I feel 100% justified in my “carnage” if it spares some of the many native pollinators (I actually had Western bumblebees this year!) I have here on my little plot, and I hope the big one was a queen. Last year these guys took down a yellow faced bumblebee queen. No need to answer my id question. Thank you.

“Second photo is the monster next to one of the regular sized non fuzzy bee hunters.”

Dear Bee Lover,
Thanks so much for getting back to us with what you learned because you provided some very interesting information for our readers that we did not know, but we would also like some clarification.  According to BugGuide regarding the introduced European Wool Carder Bees (and if what you observed is accurate, we agree that this is NOT Unnecessary Carnage):  “Males defend their territory very aggressively not only against other males but also against other flower visitors” but we did not realize that included apicide.  In the case of this species, the size difference between the males and the females is the opposite of what we have come to expect from most Hymenopterans where the female is the larger sex because BugGuide indicates:  “Female: 11–13 mm. Male: 14–17 mm”  You wrote:  “Second photo is the monster next to one of the regular sized non fuzzy bee hunters.”  You included two images of the yellow and black male Wool Carder Bee which is the protagonist in your letter, and the second image contains that individual as well as a much larger Hymenopteran, which does not agree with what you wrote.  Additionally, both look fuzzy and you wrote about a different predator that “regular sized non fuzzy bee hunters.”  What you wrote does not seem to agree with your images.  Please clarify because it seems the “‘hovering’ yellow jacket type wasp that hunts and kills bees” is actually the male European Wool Carder Bee and the “monster” is still not identified.  See our posting and please comment on the posting for clarification.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Spain
Date: 08/07/2018
Time: 07:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please identify this beautiful bee. Sorry the photo isn’t clearer. The body is covered in black hairs. The wings are irridescent blue. 6 legs
How you want your letter signed:  Dave

Violet Carpenter Bee

Dear Dave,
This is a Violet Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa violacea, which is pictured on Iberia Nature where it states:  “Their wings are brown like old film negatives, until the light catches them and they turn blue. The males signal their sex with orange antennae tips.”  According to Independent:  “It’s about three times the size of the biggest bumblebee. It may have astonished you on a holiday in the Med or other warm climes but otherwise you’re unlikely to have encountered anything like it. But now you can see it in Britain – for the violet carpenter bee, the biggest and most remarkable-looking bee in Europe, has crossed the Channel and has begun breeding in this country.”  Their presence in Britain might be evidence of global warming.

Many thanks. I’m on holiday in Spain & my grand children were fascinated to know what it was. So was I!
Sad that it was dead when I found it.
Dave

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  South of Spain
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 05:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Saved this wasp looking insect from the pool but it’s much larger than a regular wasp. Any ideas as to what it may be?
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Voni

European Wool Carder Bee

Dear Voni,
This is an exciting posting for us because this is a European Wool Carder Bee,
Anthidium manicatum, and all of the representatives of the species on our site are from North America because according to BugGuide: “Introduced from Europe before 1963; spreading throughout NE. & W. NA.”  BugGuide also states:  “Females collect ‘wool’ from downy plants such as Lamb’s Ears to line their nest cavities” and “Robust, black and yellow. Males significantly larger than females.”   Discover Life has some great images and we also found a posting from Spain on FlickR.  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award because of your pool rescue.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Brunch
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles
Date: 07/28/2018
Time: 04:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this couple at brunch on Saturday afternoon while visiting Mt. Washington.  My friend, Constant Gardener, mentioned that honey bees do not pollinate Cannabis. What led this sweet little honey bee astray?
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Green Lynx eats Honey Bee on Woody Plant

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Your friend and WTB? contributor Constant Gardener is correct that Honey Bees do not pollinate Cannabis, which is pollinated by the wind.  Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Honey Bees on wind pollinated, endangered California Black Walnuts.  We are confident pollination was not the goal of the Honey Bee,
but we can’t think of a logical reason it would visit the plant and fall prey to that Green Lynx Spider that was so well camouflaged among the leaves.  Surprisingly, we found many images online of Honey Bees and Cannabis.  According to the Science Explorer:  “Many people are calling the man who trained bees to make honey from marijuana a genius.  It is something many have talked about doing, but no one has been able to successfully pull it off.  At least until now, of course. His name is Nicholas Trainer. … Trainer managed to train his bees to make honey after gathering resin from the cannabis plants.  ‘I have trained bees to do several things, such as collect sugar from fruits, instead of using flowers,’ Trainer said.  “The aim arose for me to get the bees to obtain this resin.”  By using what he calls “a training technique whereby the bees collect the resin and use it in the beehive,” Nicholas and his bees, which are solely responsible for the final substance, have created the world’s first batch of cannahoney.”  According to Real Farmacy:  “Many are calling him a genius. He is an artisan, locksmith and above all else, he explains, a beekeeper. He has accumulated over 4,300 Facebook followers, and 700 on Instagram, after the 39-year-old Frenchman — who describes himself as an advocate of medical cannabis and of complete cannabis legalization — trained bees to make honey from cannabis.  He goes by the nickname of Nicolas Trainerbees, for obvious reasons. For 20 years, he has worked with bees in a way he claims allows him to “train” them to make honey from virtually anything.”  According to The Organic Dream:  “Nicholas says that he was told by many people that it couldn’t be done, that the marijuana plant was not capable of being pollinated by the bees, who normally specialize in flowering plants, and that even if he succeeded, the bees would be harmed in the process.  But after twp years of trials Nicholas has found that the process actually works really well, and the bees are not harmed at all, in fact they seem to love it!  He concludes that as bees have no endocannabinoid system, they are not affected by the cannabinoids in the same way that humans are, that sometimes makes them drowzy or lethargic.”  According to Weedistry:  “From what we know, bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers that produce pollen and nectar. Most cannabis is pollinated by wind and the flower color is not normally bright enough to attract bees. The male cannabis plants produce pollen but most cannabis that is grown is from the female sinsemilla plants that are not pollinated and do not produce seeds. If bees were to pollinate marijuana it would be at a complete last resort but don’t worry about the bees getting ‘high’. Bees do not contain receptors that connect to the cannabinoids found in marijuana so they will not feel the buzz that people feel.”  Perhaps a bee-keeper in Mount Washington is training Honey Bees as well, which could explain your Food Chain image.  The plant in your image does not appear to have any buds yet, so the reason the Honey Bee was lured to this plant is still a mystery.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination