Currently viewing the category: "Orchid Bees"
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Identification Request: Green hovering bug
Location: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
April 11, 2012 10:09 pm
I see these bugs on rare occassions. They will hover in one spot in mid air. If you disturb them, they fly away and then they will return to the exact same spot. They move very quickly.
These photos were taken in South Florida in June.
Signature: Danman

Green Orchid Bee

Dear Danman,
When we first posted an image of a Green Orchid Bee in the genus
Euglossa, in 2004, it was something of a sensation because it was a more tropical species that was not reported from Florida.  It has since become quite well established.  Its presence could be due to global warming or other man made causes like accidental introduction or cultivation of its food source in gardens.

Daniel,
I first saw these in Hollywood, Florida in 1987. That is 18 years previous to your 2004 post. They would find a spot in mid air for no apparent reason and they would hover without any deviation. If you waved your hand, they would fly away in an arc, and the they would return to that same spot in mid air. They are raelly odd insects.
Danman

Wow, that is fascinating.  We wonder how they avoided detection for so long.  See this:  Establishment of the neotropical Orchid Bee Euglossa viridissima (Hymenoptera:  Apidae) in Florida which states  “During the summer of 2003, however, several male Euglossa viridissima Friese 1899 were trapped around Fort Lauderdale (26°08’N, 80°08’W), Florida, by USDA employees in the fruit fly monitoring program and sent to the Florida State Collection of Arthropods for identification (Wiley 2004).”  To the best of our knowledge, that represents the first official Florida sighting.

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Interesting bug
Location: Guyana, Wakenaam Island, Essequibo River
February 9, 2011 5:16 pm
Here it something that died in the window screen. I set it on a coconut and took this photo. Is it some kind of bee?
Signature: G. Fischer

Orchid Bee

Dear G. Fischer,
We requested assistance from Eric Eaton with this identification and here is his response:  “Daniel:  Yes, one of the orchid bees in the Euglossini tribe, or a closely-allied tribe.  Eric

Update courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
parasitic orchid bee genus Exaerete.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bug nest?
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
November 12, 2010 8:45 pm
I haven’t seen the bug yet, but something completely covered the hole in a decorative birdhouse on my porch with a thick, shiny, sticky substance that looks like it has dried bits of stuff embedded in it. It’s been closed over for about a week and today I noticed the hole was open and I saw a glimpse of an insect head, but it ducked back into the birdhouse. What in the world can this be?
Signature: Linda G

Bird House Mystery: Dripping Honey Perhaps???

Dear Linda,
Bumble Bees frequently nest in empty bird houses and Bumble Bees provision the nest with honey.  We have an awesome image in our archives of a Red Tailed Bumble Bee nest in a birdhouse and another image from earlier this year of a Bumble Bee nest in a bird house in Oklahoma.  According to the Bee Man Exterminators website (which does not condone the removal or extermination of Bumble Bee nests):  “They often nest in bird houses using the old bird nest from a past year to nest in.
”  Our best guess is that this might somehow be related to a nest of Bumble Bees and the oozing may be honey.  We would be thrilled to post any additional images of the insect should you be able to secure any, and we would love to be able to assist in clearing up this mystery.

Dan,
Thanks for the reply.  I had put the whole birdhouse in a big plastic bin on Friday evening and during the day on Saturday the “bee” came out….not very lively, but crawling around on the bottom of the bin.  Earlier today I put in some wildflower weeds from my yard for him and he went right to them and started crawling around from flower to flower.  When I checked again at dinner, he was latched onto a flower and not moving at all, so I went for the camera.  I picked the whole stem out and took a couple of pictures thinking he was dead since he hadn’t moved at all and poof!…off he flew!  I’m attaching the 3 pictures I did get.  When I googled iridescent green bee, I checked out a couple sites….could he be a “sweat bee”?  And why would there only be 1?  In 2 days, there was nothing else coming out of the birdhouse.  And the stuff gooking down from the hole is black, almost like tar!  So WEIRD!  But I guess a lot is weird in the bug world.  If you can give me any other info, I’d love it!
Thank you so much for the interest and the reply!
Linda G

Orchid Bee

Hi Linda,
Your bee is an Orchid Bee
Euglossa viridissima, a recent immigrant to Florida first reported to What’s That Bug in 2003 or 2005, or somewhere in between.

Dan,
Thank You, Thank You!!!!!  After I googled Orchid Bee and checked out several sites with pictures, I’m sure that’s what he (she) was!  I’m glad it wasn’t something nasty like the African Killer bees!  I’ll be on the lookout for more hanging around my porterweed…it really was very pretty!
I love watching butterflies, caterpillars and such and try to make my yard welcoming to all sorts of wildlife…it was very exciting to see something so unusual and thanks to you it’s been identified!
Thanks again!
Linda G

UPDATE:  November 17, 2010
Just a quick follow-up on my orchid bee that you identified….I hung my birdhouse back up on my porch without cleaning off the black resin goop and when I came home last evening, it was closed up again! Totally!  After being completely open since last Friday.  And just a little while ago, I went out for mail and there is a hole about the size of a tack, so I’m guessing the bee came back, more were inside and just never appeared over the weekend when it was inside the big bin, or another 1 or more have taken over the nest!?  Whatever, it sure is fascinating!  Funny I’ve  never see any activity in over a month of watching the resin get bigger, close over completely and then the holes during the day.  Should I report my orchid bee to anyone?  If so, who or where should I look to find it….guess I can google it like I did to find you!
Thanks again,
Linda G

Thanks for the update Linda.  We don’t think you need to report your Green Orchid Bee as it is already known they are well established in Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind of bee is this
August 29, 2009
I would like to know as much info on this cool looking green bee as possible
mike samsel
pompano beach florida

Green Orchid Bee Colony

Green Orchid Bee Colony

Dear Mike,
When we first posted an image of a Green Orchid Bee, Euglossa viridissima, in October 2004, and it created quite a stir.  The species has since become established in Florida, having crossed into the U.S. from Mexico.  The Online article on BioOne entitled ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEOTROPICAL ORCHID BEE EUGLOSSA VIRIDISSIMA (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE) IN FLORIDA by Charlotte Skova and Jim Wiley provides a wealth of information.  We are thrilled to get your photos which illustrate the communal nesting habits of the Green Orchid Bee.

Green Orchid Bee Colony

Green Orchid Bee Colony

Update from Eric Eaton
Daniel:
I don’t know if they are nesting, or are seeking minerals in the soil, or just what.  I’d love to see that spectacle myself, though:-)
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Metallic Green Fly
Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM
As shown in the picture, it has a blue-green metallic color to it. It looked like a fly and it was flying to different flowers. I located this bug in Southern Florida. There’s not much else I can think of.
Jenna Marie
Coconut Creek, Florida

Green Orchid Bee

Green Orchid Bee

Dear Jenna Marie,
This is a Green Orchid Bee, Euglossa viridissima, a tropical species that has become well established in Florida in recent years, perhaps due to global warming.
In a general sense, species range expansion and species range declines are both evidence of climate changes.  While range expansion might be considered a benefit in some cases, it also becomes harmful to the environment by crowding out of established species that are native to the area.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Turquoise Bug That Looks Like a Bee
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 5:54 PM
I was taking pictures of bumblebees in my yard and saw this beautiful blue bug that hovered by the same yellow flowers. Do you know what it is? It looks like a mutant bumblebee in shape! The color is amazing. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide me. Hopefully it is not a pest that I have to worry about in the garden.
Sandi
Boca Raton, FL

Green Orchid Bee

Green Orchid Bee

Hi Sandi,
When we first posted a photo of a Green Orchid Bee, Euglossa viridissima, a few years ago, it created quite a stir.  Now according to BugGuide, this tropical species is well established in Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination