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

Subject:  Wazzat bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Snohomish, WA
Date: 09/04/2017
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

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

Dear Sandi,
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.

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  It looks like a bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 09/03/2017
Time: 12:19 AM EDT
Hello there. I came across this beautiful insect, which is the size of my thumb when I got back home. Sadly, I couldn’t get a photo of its full body, but it somewhat resembles a bee when it comes out from burrowing in the wood.
I was fascinated how it bore a hole, but I did not want to bother it. Again, it resembled a bee in flight and outside the burrow, since I got it to fly out. I checked on it later to see if it’s out of the burrow, but it returned to chewing wood.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you for helping me identify this fascinating insect. I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Carpenter Bee

This is definitely a Carpenter Bee, and according to Anim Agro Technology:  “CARPENTER BEES (Xylocopa spp) or locally in Malaysia known as Lebah Tukang or Lebah Kayu are the largest bee species.”  The site has wonderful images and information.  Your Carpenter Bee might be Xylocopa aestuans, a species from nearby Singapore which is profiled on taxo4254.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metallic Green Sweat Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Powhatan, VA
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 10:40 AM EDT
I have lived in this area for many years and never noticed this type of bee. My fiance’ planted an African Blue Basil plant that is flourishing and it had a couple dozen of these bees all over it for several days. Quickly identified it through your site. Now I’m hooked on looking up the bugs we have around here. Thank you for the work you do putting this site together.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Talbert – Powhatan, VA

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Mike,
We were hoping we would find a gorgeous image of an insect we have never featured as Bug of the Month this morning, and your submission is perfect.  Your enthusiasm over sighting this Metallic Green Sweat Bee is refreshing, and your image makes a gorgeous Bug of the Month for September, 2017.  Metallic Green Sweat Bees seem to be attracted to purple flowers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flight of the Bumble Bee
Location: Coryell County, Texas
August 13, 2017 12:46 pm
I was pretty excited to see a bumble bee for the first time since we moved here and began planting gardens in 1999. I’ve seen one twice, alone both times. I wish the photos were clearer, but both times I saw the bee, it flew straight at my face, then up and away. I’ll keep my distance now, I do believe. 😀 Beautiful creature, though.
Photos August 8, 2017. Hot and humid, partly cloudy.
I’m not sure what kind of bumble bee it is as the differences are too subtle for me to tell. I did find this reference from Texas Parks & Wildlife: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/nongame/native-pollinators/bumblebee-id.phtml
The bee was visiting the autumn sage (Salvia greggii), and is such a heavy insect that the blossoms sometimes fell to the ground.
Signature: Ellen

American Bumble Bee

Hi Ellen,
We always love getting images from you, and it is distressing that this is the first Bumble Bee you have seen in your garden in 18 years.  We believe, based on the nice graphics on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Bumble Bee Identification page that it is the American Bumble Bee.  According to BugGuide:  “Has declined severely at the northern margin of its range, where now absent from or at best very rare at many historical localities, but still routinely found in its core range to the south as evidenced by the many Bugguide images. considered by Louisiana and Texas to be a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” (SGCN).”

American Bumble Bee

Thank you so much for the identification! I’ll plant more Autumn Sage around the perimeter of the yard in September as it’s so favored by the Bumble Bee and other insect pollinators and hummingbirds. Best wishes to you both!

American Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not a Fly
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 12, 2017 2:42 pm
Hi Bugman,
Like most, I stumbled upon your website looking for the identity of a little buddy I found lazily buzzing through my office.
At first, I thought it was a green bottle fly, but on closer inspection its head resembles that of a wasp’s. It’s also much slower than a housefly–its movements are sluggish in comparison and it seems a lot calmer in general. Even as I type this, it makes no effort to escape it’s tiny (albeit temporary) prison.
Whenever possible, I try to catch and release bugs that end up trapped in my car, home, or office. As such, I applaud your stance on extermination, and appreciate this service you offer the public. It’s nice to see folks passionate about a subject, but it’s even more spectacular when said folks share that passion with others. Thank and keep up the great work!
Signature: Julien

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Julien,
Thank you for your kind words.  You are correct that this is NOT a fly.  This is a Green Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, but we do not have the necessary skills to provide a definite species.  According to BugGuide:  “Typically ground-nesters, with nests formed in clay soil, sandy banks of streams, etc. Most species are polylectic (collecting pollen from a variety of unrelated plants)” and “A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Bombus affinis?
Location: Massachusetts USA
August 11, 2017 7:18 am
Is this bumblebee feeding on a milkweed plant in Massachusetts a Bombus affinis?
Thankyou!!
Rob S
Signature: Rob

Possibly Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee

Dear Rob,
This does indeed look like a Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, a species represented on BugGuide with sightings in the midwest, though BugGuide does state:  “MN to IN, plus a few remaining sites on east coast, see map per Xerces Society. Formerly Upper Midwest and Eastern North America: Ontario to New Brunswick, south to North Carolina. Historically known from more than 25 states.”  BugGuide also provides this sobering information:  “Declines of this species were first noted by John S. Ascher at Ithaca, New York, ca. 2001 when populations that were conspicuous in the late 1990s could not be located. At this and many other localities across its historic range affinis is no longer detected, but it has been shown to persist locally in the midwest and in New England.  Abrupt and severe declines of this and other bumble bee species in this subgenus were widely reported soon after development of the commercial bumble bee industry and detection of high rates of parasitism in managed colonies.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced (Sept. 21, 2016) that it is proposing to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.”  According to the Xerces Society:  “The rusty patched bumble bee is a species of bumble bee native to eastern North America. Its’ workers and males have a small rust-colored patch on the middle of their second abdominal segment. This bee was once commonly distributed throughout the east and upper Midwest of the United States, but has declined from an estimated 87% of its historic range in recent years. The rusty-patched bumble bee was once an excellent pollinator of wildflowers, cranberries, and other important crops, including plum, apple, alfalfa and onion seed.  Responding to a petition filed by the Xerces Society in 2013 to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) finalized the ruling and gave the rusty patched bumble bee endangered status under the ESA in January of 2017.”  If your identification and our confirmation are correct, you might want to report your significant Massachusetts sighting to the Bumble Bee Watch as recommended by the Xerces Society Citizen Science program.

Thank you very much Daniel!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination