Currently viewing the category: "Bees"
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

Subject:  Big black bug with blue wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Czech Republic, South Moravia
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 09:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I’ve seen this bug on the sideway, we’ve seen anything like this never before.
Any ideas what is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Nice but unknown bug

Violet Carpenter Bee

This is a Violet Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa violacea, a species we identified on iNaturalist.  Perhaps due to global warming, it has recently been reported from the UK where it has spread from its normal rage that included continental Europe.  According to Independent:  “Even though it is one of the scariest-looking insects you’re ever likely to catch sight of (typically measuring at least 25mm in length but appearing considerably larger in flight), it is the violet, not the violent carpenter bee. A killer bee it is not; it is not aggressive and is unlikely to sting you. The name comes from the violet wings, which appear to give a blue sheen to its black body when in flight.”  According to Life In Galicia:  “they are harmless – only the female can sting but will do so only if directly provoked. The male just buzzes about, guards the nest and looks after the female.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Golden Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, AZ
Date: 06/28/2018
Time: 10:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this? Large similar to the size of a beetle but looks like bee.
How you want your letter signed:  Anna

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Anna,
This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee, a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination