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

Subject:  Pollen Thief
Geographic location of the bug:  Spartanburg SC
Date: 03/23/2020
Time: 08:40 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good Morning,
Spring has sprung here in the Carolinas. I was watching the bees on a holly bush when I saw two bees, one much smaller than the other. The smaller bee got on the back of the larger bee, shook him like crazy and stole the pollen from his legs! Is this common in the bee world?
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Healy

Mating Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Mike,
This looks to us like a pair of mating Eastern Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa virginica, and the male, who is on top, has a white face.  We do not think pollen thievery was on his mind.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar from many flowers, often biting into base of flower to “rob” it without pollinating (but seen to pollinate Passiflora incarnata quite effectively–pollen is deposited on thorax).”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the ID on my bees. Little did I know that I was interrupting an intimate moment! My son was morning the grass and the larger females were everywhere that there was a flower of any kind. Do three Carpenter bees sting? My son was terrified by then but they really didn’t seem to care about me, walking right up to them. I do remember from my childhood in CT, that there was a best of Carpenters in the garage and they would dive bomb us.
The picture that I took was that of the bees in a Holly bush. There were hundreds of them.
Thanks again for the education. I love What’s that bug!
Mike Healy

Hi Mike,
Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging, and females are not aggressive and rarely sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Voluptuous Bee doing Yoga
Geographic location of the bug:  Alin, Calca, Peru
Date: 10/28/2019
Time: 02:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
During an am yoga practice this beautiful bee was sharing props with me. It appeared to love the strap! It was difficult to get a photo with out disturbing too much. The individual was shortly released.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Bumble Bee

Dear Melanie,
This is a Bumble Bee in the genus
Bombus, but we do not recognize the species.  Perhaps Cesar Crash from Brazil will recognize the species.  According to BugGuide, the preferred habitat for Bumble Bees is:  “Generally distributed but most abundant and diverse at humid, cool sites rich in flowers, such as mountain meadows.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy Buzzy Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  23454 – Va Beach, VA
Date: 08/18/2019
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve noticed a new pollinator in our gardens this summer but don’t recognize the species.  I’m estimating 20-25MM in length, fairly robust, but not “chunky” like a bumble bee.  I saved one in our pool and grabbed a couple closeups of their uniquely colored eyes.  He/she flew away safely  :-]
How you want your letter signed:  W/ appreciation

Thank you for the response.  I see many similarities, however the size, shape, and coloring of the eyes do not correspond.  Head scratcher.  :-]

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Hello again,
Because you wrote back, we took a look at all your images and we believe you have submitted images of two different species.  We still believe the individual on the flowers is a Bumble Bee, but the one you saved from the pool appears to be an Eastern Carpenter Bee.  Check out the similarity in the eyes with this individual posted to BugGuide of
Xylocopa virginicaMale.  As you can see from this BugGuide image, the Eastern Carpenter Bee has a dark colored abdomen, which is why we feel certain you have submitted two different species.  Since you rescued this individual, we are tagging the posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Eastern Carpenter Bee

I’m sorry for creating confusion!  …but am grateful for your extra effort :-]
Thanks guys!!
R/ M Coughlin

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy Buzzy Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  23454 – Va Beach, VA
Date: 08/18/2019
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve noticed a new pollinator in our gardens this summer but don’t recognize the species.  I’m estimating 20-25MM in length, fairly robust, but not “chunky” like a bumble bee.  I saved one in our pool and grabbed a couple closeups of their uniquely colored eyes.  He/she flew away safely  :-]
How you want your letter signed:  W/ appreciation

Perplexing Bumble Bee

Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is a Perplexing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus.  Additional images and information can be found on Discover Life.

Thank you for the response.  I see many similarities, however the size, shape, and coloring of the eyes do not correspond.  Head scratcher.  :-]

Ed Note:  See Eastern Carpenter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Adorable bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach, California
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 02:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman! This cute fat fuzzy little friend and her buddies are frequent guests in my garden. My understanding is that only females have pollen baskets. Do they also distinguish her as a bumblebee, rather than a carpenter bee? If so, can you tell what kind of bumblebee she is? She’s taking her job very seriously and she is welcome in my yard.
How you want your letter signed:  Rachel L

Sonoran Bumble Bee

Dear Rachel,
We wish we had your luck.  Daniel hasn’t seen a Bumble Bee in the WTB? garden for quite some time, despite there being numerous other native pollinators.  We believe based on images posted to The Natural History of Orange County that is is a Sonoran Bumble Bee,
Bombus sonorus.  According to Accent on Natural Landscaping:  “Male bees do not actively collect pollen, only the queen and worker bumblebees do. They transfer the pollen they collect to the sacs or baskets on their hind legs to make it easier to transport back to the hive. Bumblebee pollen sacs or baskets are known as corbicula.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metalic Green Bee (Agapostemon)
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Mississippi
Date: 07/29/2019
Time: 03:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I got this lovely picture with my macro lens – thought you might like to add it to the page for this bee! 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth

Metallic Sweat Bee

Dear Elizabeth,
Thanks for sending in your lovely image of a Metallic Sweat Bee.  We generally don’t even attempt to identify them beyond the subfamily Halictinae because we don’t have the necessary skills to differentiate them further.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination