Currently viewing the category: "Bees"

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

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.”

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.

Subject:  Robbery fly
Geographic location of the bug:  location: GPS@43°47’39″N 15°40’51″E (19.0 m)
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This about 3 cm bug was sucking a brombee in my garden. I have s lot if brombees in my lavender and ‘stockroses’. It had yellow-black legs with hairs. Long body with yellow-brown stripes and very long brownies wings folded onbthe back.
How you want your letter signed:  Wilma

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Wilma,
Based on the GPS coordinates your provided, Google Maps places this sighting in Croatia.  When we searched the internet for Croatian Robber Flies, we located this FlickR posting of 
Pogonosoma maroccanum which appears very similar to your individual.

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

Subject:  Megachilidae bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 03:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
I was out in my pollinator garden snooping around this morning and discovered a large number of these small bees.  Size is about 1/3 inch.  They were in an area of my garden that has a bee house, but were not showing any signs of using it.  I am wondering, however, if these are mason bees?  Any help gratefully appreciated!
And I’m looking forward to a buggy summer.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah E Bifulco

Solitary Bee

Dear Deborah,
While we agree this is a solitary Bee, we are uncertain of its exact identity.  It might be a Squash Bee, one of the Longhorned Bees in the genus
Peponapis.  According to BugGuide:  “these solitary ground nesting bees pollinate Cucurbitaceae more effectively than honeybees and line their brood cells with a waxlike material they secrete”.  Do you have squash in your garden?  We would not rule out that they might be Mason Bees in the family Megachilidae, which is well represented on BugGuide.  We believe that with many solitary Bees, males emerge earlier and they will patrol areas where there is both abundant food as well as favorable nesting areas in anticipation of the appearance of females with which to mate.  Male Bees will not be interested in your bee house.  We look forward to future submissions from your “pollinator garden”.  Perhaps one of our readers who has more experience keying out Solitary Bees will provide a more conclusive identification.

Solitary Bee

Subject:  Some sort of bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Rocky River, Ohio
Date: 05/11/2019
Time: 08:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Some sort of bee sits on the same screen each spring and then seems to die. This year there are two. Do you know what kind of bug this is. Looks like a big bee.
How you want your letter signed:  Michelle

Possibly Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Michelle,
There is not enough detail in your image to be certain, but based on your description that they are big, and based on the fact that our editorial staff is currently just outside of Youngstown, Ohio and we have witnessed male Eastern Carpenter Bees on the wing right now, we suspect your visitors are also Eastern Carpenter Bees.

I didn’t want to get too close! I think you are right about being a carpenter bee. They never leave the screen though. Lazy carpenter bee maybe? Haha
Thanks for your input and prompt response. We have a big garden so maybe they are just waiting.