Currently viewing the category: "Bees"
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

Subject:  Metallic green bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Belton South Carolina
Date: 07/24/2018
Time: 01:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these metallic green and yellow bees on the ground over pile of dirt. What I thought was yellow now I’m thinking that it might be just pollen. But they are not a type of bee that we’ve ever seen around here. Hoping you can help me identify them and wondering if they sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Brenda Bryant

Metallic Sweat Bee Colony

Dear Brenda,
These appear to be Metallic Green Sweat Bees in the family Halicitidae, and though they are solitary bees, they sometimes nest in colonies.  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).”  BugGuide also notes:  “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:  Rusty red-furred bee. Ridged flat back.
Geographic location of the bug:  Fredericksburg, Virginia
Date: 07/19/2018
Time: 01:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bee on an agastache flower in my backyard. I looked at your guide and  it seems to be a resin bee?  It’s gorgeous.
We used to have carpenter bees out back (deck) but now they’ve sawed our front porch.  You say that the resin bees move into already established holes…………………….……………
How you want your letter signed:  swarner

Sculptured Resin Bee

Dear swarner,
You are correct that this is an introduced Sculptured Resin Bee and according to BugGuide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A stunning Syrphid for your enjoyment
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 07/14/2018
Time: 04:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  No real question, just a lovely image I snapped of a Syrphidn or Flower fly/hover fly (your guess is as good as mine on a proper species ID).
Enjoy, and keep up the awesome work!
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Wool Carder Bee

Dear Bug aficionado,
Most Flies in the order Diptera have a single pair of wings, though some species are wingless.  At any rate, no Flies have two pairs of wings, which is the physical characteristic shared by other winged insects.  This is NOT a Syrphid Fly.  It is a Wool Carder Bee in the genus Anthidium.  According to BugGuide:  “Females collect down from pubescent plants and use it to line nest.”  We cannot provide a definitive species name to your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Don’t think it’s Bombus vosnesenskii, so which bumbler is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 12:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I originally thought this was Bombus vosnesenskii (Yellow-Faced bumble bee), but all photos representing that particular species shows only one  yellow segment on the abdomen, whereas the one I took the photograph of, shows two.
I tried researching by location and bee color/appearance on discoverlife.org‘s bee identification, but none seem to match. Based upon the appearance of pollen baskets and sparse hairs on the hind legs, I am pretty sure it’s a true bumble been (not a Cuckoo) and a female.
If you are able to help, I’d love your assistance!
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

Dear Bug Aficionado,
When we first looked at your images, we too began trying to match to BugGuide images of a Bumble Bee with a yellow face as well as two abdominal stripes, but upon reviewing your images, we believe the second yellow band we thought we observed on one of your images is an optical illusion, part of the clover blossom rather than the Bee.  None of your images clearly shows a second yellow band.  Perhaps you have additional images that show the markings on the abdomen.  Since we cannot clearly see a second band, we are going to call this a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee as the yellow face as well as other markings, including the half black thorax, agree with that species.  Also, the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee pictured on Hilltromper does appear to show a second abdominal stripe.  The Arboretum Foundation page entitled Getting to Know Our Northwest Bees identifies four species including the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee.

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

I think you are right about the optical illusion! I zoomed in on the photo, and, sure enough, what I thought was a second yellow abdominal segment is actually one of the clover head’s flowers!
Thanks so much for your help! Trying to ID this fuzzy-butt was driving me bonkers!
Also, thank you for correcting the ID of my blue butterfly from Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) to Pacific Azure (Celastrina echo). They both look very much alike, and despite butterfliesandmoths.org having a verified sighting of C. ladon in Oregon (which is what led me to my ID- I simply didn’t research enough), it is quite likely that they, too, mis-identified the specimen.
-Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination