Currently viewing the category: "Bees"

I can’t find it…
…and I don’t know how your readers get such clear closeup photos! I just found a (dead) fuzzy golden winged beetle-looking bug in the driveway. I’m attaching a couple of also fuzzy photos.
Richey and Lee Grude
Sunnyvale CA

Hi Richey and Lee,
This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee. The golden males are very short lived. The black female bees live much longer. There are currently 3 females busily gathering nectar from our wisteria which has just begun to bloom.
Regarding your problems with focus on your digital camera: Many digital cameras have a macro feature for close-ups. We would strongly recommend enrolling in a digital photography class at your nearby Community College. At Los Angeles City College, we offer a beginning digital photograpy course and many people who just want to learn to use their own digital cameras more competantly enroll in the course. They also benefit from close association with dedicated studentw who want to make photography their career.

mating orchard bees
Dear Bugman,
Great bug site! My son took this picture of two lovin’ orchard bees on our deck in April of 2005. These bees regularly nest under the siding on the south side of our home. They are docile, early spring risers and are very welcome visitors to our apple trees.
Sandy Nunn
Kakabeka Falls

Hi Sandy,
Thank you so much for sending us this wonderful image from your son’s photo archive.

Albino Carpenter Female??
I was relaxing on my back patio in San Jose CA when this 1in+ bee fell, landing on it’s back I put the oak leaf on it so that it could turn itself over then ran inside to get my camera. I was very thankful that it didn’t fly away when I got back. I was able to get 3 decent pictures before it decided to leave. Any help identifying this green eyed beauty would be appriciated.
Michael Blair

Hi Michael,
This beauty is a normally colored Male Valley Carpenter Bee. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the females being blue-black and the males golden with green eyes. The males are generally short lived, nervous active creatures. We usually see them in the spring here in Los Angeles.

black & yellow winged . . . ???
I found this little guy [girl?] outside on the walk. Seems to be ailing or injured as it has barely moved in a day. Besides the yellow on the head, it has a yellow stripe across his butt. Interesting fuzzy legs that have little hooked ends.
Mike Armstrong
San Diego area

Hi Mike,
This is a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. BugGuide has some additional photos, but not much information.

About your site
Hello! I just wanted to let you know that you have the most helpful and organized site I have ever been on. I’ve spent a good 20 mins. looking at other websites attempting to find out what kind of spider I had next to my back door. After a few moments on your site I found her (or him), turns out she is a Orb Weaver, she is very interesting to watch. While on a field trip for biology I found a very unsual caterpiller and again, only a few moments and I found he was a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpiller. I will be using your regularly since I am always finding interesting bugs. I am also sending a pic of the Orb Weaver munching on a large bumblebee. Enjoy, Thanks again!!!
~Caitlin of NJ

Hi Caitlin,
Thanks for your thoughtful letter. We do get our share of letters telling us how difficult our site is to navigate and offering us suggestions on how to make it better, so it is nice to hear you call it organized. Organization is really not our strong feature. Your Araneus Orb Weaver is a magnificent specimen.

Male Wool Carder Bee
I often refer to your website to identify a bug (and have had success with a few I’d been looking for for a year or two at least), and often out of sheer curiosity. I read the post about the Wool Carder Bee recently and thought it sounded cool and decided to keep an eye out for them… Strangely, I saw one on our Bee Balm Flower the next day and took these shots (you can clearly see the spikes on the one from behind). This one is male – the female was nearby but didn’t land within range for a clear shot (no zoom OR macro lens). Hope you like ’em. Keep up the good work!
SJ (Ontario)

Dear SJ,
Like them? We love them. We are so honored that you are allowing us to post your most excellent photos of a male Wool Carder Bee, Anthidium manicatum. We are also providing a link to a Wool Carder Bee site that states: “How common is the Wool Carder Bee? The Wool Carder Bee is quite an uncommon bee, but it is particularly associated with gardens. There has been a dramatic decline in the numbers of most species of bee in the wider countryside. Intensive agriculture leaves little opportunity for wild bees to thrive, and nowadays many bee species are more common in gardens than elsewhere! A sad reflection on the state of our countryside’s wildlife.”