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

Subject:  Sweat Bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 04:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m not sure if this is a sweat bee (possibly Agapostemon splendens) or some type of Flower loving or Syrphid fly.
It was roughly 1/3 inch in length, give or take a few millimeters.
I’m leaning more towards A. splendens, but to be honest, arachnids and mantises are more my forte.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Striped Sweat Bee

Dear Bug aficionado,
This is definitely a Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, and we believe you have the genus
Agapostemon correct as well, however, the species Agapostemon splendens is not found in the Pacific Northwest based on BugGuide data.  Members of the genus Agapostemon are known as the Striped Sweat Bees because, according to BugGuide:  “Males are easier to ID because they have strongly black-and-yellow striped abdomen.”  According to Insect Identification for the Casual Observer:  “There are over a dozen species of Agapostemon Sweat Bees. Males are easier to identity than females because of their distinct coloring. The head and thorax of males are a metallic green, but its abdomen is comprised of the black and yellow bands typically seen in the bee family. Females of many species are mostly green all over. Some species are very social and share nests, while others are more solitary in nature.
Nests are burrows dug into dirt or banks. Pollen grains are collected and placed in each egg’s cell to provide food for the expected larva. For this reason, most sightings of adults occur around in or in gardens and meadows laden with blooms. Spring and summer are peak times of year for activity.
Adults drink flower nectar and eat pollen, and are not aggressive. They will sting in self-defense, however, if they are hit or almost crushed.
Agapostemon Sweat Bees sometimes get close to, or touch parts of, the body that are perspiring. They seem to enjoy drinking the salty liquid off of our skin. Some are so small and lightweight, they are able to do so without the person even realizing it!”  We are making your submission our Bug of the Month for October 2018.

Striped Sweat Bee

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