Currently viewing the category: "Bees"

From your website it seems I have photographed a "Metallic Sweat Bee". This was taken 10/7/04 in West Greenwich Rhode Island. I have lived in this area for 40 years and never seen one. Is this appearance the result of the recent hurricanes?
Mike Raia

Hi Mike,
Nice photo of one of the metallic sweat bees, probably the Virescent Green Metallic Bee, Agapostemon virescens. Yours is a female. Female bees have the abdomen ringed in white and males in yellow. They range from Quebec to Florida, west to Texas, and also Oregon. For nests, they dig burrows in bare and sandy soil. Adults drink nectar, but collect pollen to feed the young.

What is this?
Hi Daniel,
I was happy to hear from you,and wanted to let you know that as soon as I can I will send some pictures for your site,things tend to go in cycles with me getting busier at certain times as well,however in the meantime I’m sending a picture,not resized to your sites specs, just the site it was submitted to,but just so you can see because I’m wondering if you can tell me what kind of insect this is…it acts like a bee,and I’ve seen them around my yard a lot,and have always called them little green bees,but I have no clue as to what they actually are,I live in South Florida,near the Fort Lauderdale area. I submit to photography sites,so most likely I’ll be asked by everyone what it is,I’m really hoping you’ll know!!!
Thanks very much,
Beth Bernier

Hi Beth,
Your photo is absolutely gorgeous. We were unsure exactly what your beautiful metallic insect was. It is colored like a sweat bee or a cuckoo wasp, but its body form resembled a fly more. The telltale feature of a fly is that they have two and not four wings. We are turning to a more knowledgeable source:
“Dear Daniel: Boy, that sure does look like an orchid bee in the genus Euglossa, but as far as I know, they are found strictly south of the Mexican border. I suppose it could be a recent introduction (or something else I am unfamiliar with), Definitely an apid bee of some sort. Thanks for sharing!
Later Eric wrote back
Euglossa bee? Daniel:
Here is a real expert answer as to what the bee is (it is a Euglossa sp.), and how it might have turned up so far out of its normal range.
Dear Friends, esp. Doug Y:
I think this is a Euglossa sp. bee, but what would it be doing in Ft. Lauderdale???
Obviously, it’s visiting flowers. 😉
At any rate, this is not surprising, given that it’s a well-known phenomenon for hurricanes to move insects around. Many, MANY of the odd US records for Mexican lepidoptera coincide with major storms – and I certainly think this year would qualify as a major storm year. So, I would expect such a stray to be a meaningless data point, especially as it’s a male Euglossa – though if there’s one, there may be more, and if that includes some fertilized females, then who knows? Climatically, there isn’t really any obvious reason southern Florida couldn’t support orchid bees. If there are repeated sightings in the future, then at least we have some evidence pointing to this being the year the invasion might have occurred.
Doug Yanega
Dept. of Entomology, Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California – Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315
(standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR’s)

Hi Daniel,
Well that’s quite exciting news!!! If your expert friends are interested..I can tell you that these bees have been here at least a year,perhaps longer as I have been trying to get a good photo of one for at least that long,and there have been at a few bees present most times,they seem to love my wild morning glories,as well as the flowers shown in the image,in fact they seem to be quite attracted to any flower in the violet/blue color. I’ve also seen them before at a nearby nature preserve called Fern Forest.My exact address is 5500 SW 6th Court in Margate,Fl. That’s so an exact location can be noted,also if there’s anyone that wishes to contact me about the bees for scientific purposes please feel free to give them my email address. Thank you again for your help!

Update: (12/14/2006)
Hello my name is Lance I have seen this bug as well in South Florida. It is bright green and an incredible flier. I have seen this bug hover in a single spot as still as a statue, then very quickly dart just a couple of inches over left or right or forward. I wish I could get a picture of it. It went into a hole it made or something else made burrowed into concrete….perhaps building a nest….I just wanted you all to know the behavior so maybe it would help better understand it….maybe a new kind of bug

Need help identifying beetle species
Hi there…
I was looking at your beetle database trying to identify this one. At first I thought it’s part of Dynastes tityus female, then I notice that the back is totally different. It’s a big one though. I would say at least 2”.
Amrul Isham Ismail

Hi Amrul Isham Ismail,
You don’t have a beetle at all, but what appears to be a Carpenter Bee. We really like your action photos.

I am scratching all over after seeing the pictures of the bugs on your site… 😉 My boys caught a bug today and put it in a jar (boys will be boys) and asked me what it was. Now, I am no bug woman so I found you on the web…. It’s got three pairs of fuzzy black legs, Two wings that are a shiny blueish-green. Its body is in three parts. It’s got two mandibles (is that what those things on the mouth are called??). It looks like a giant fuzzy spider/bee!! I am reading this and I can’t
believe it!!! Well, I hope I have given enough info for you to start identifying this thing in a jar right next to me!!!!!! (eeek!)

Hi Cynthia,
Might be a Carpenter Bee. All insects have
six legs and three body parts, so that is a general description. Bees are often hairy, so your guess might be correct.

Thanks, I don’t think it’s a carpenter bee cause it is much bigger (2.5 to 3 cm). The body (the third part) is like a shiny black slinky and is fuzzy on the edges. I tried to take pictures of it, here is one : Boy, what a mommy will do for her boys, and thank god there are people who have the info!!
Thanks again,

Hi again Cynthia,
We are fairly sure that is a Carpenter Bee. Don’t know where you are writing from or what the species is.

Hey Bugman,
I tried accessing your site but it was down due to too much traffic. Congratulations, I guess!! 🙂 Anyway, yesterday I noticed about 5-6 really large bees hovering outside my screened porch in Birmingham, AL. They weren’t digging in the wood, just walking all over the screen, like they were trying to nest there. Today, there must have been 2-3 dozen of them. I sprayed them repeatedly, many died, but most came back for more.
Needless to say, we were totally icked out and want these large things gone if possible. Can you tell us who this is that has invaded our home. I’ve attached a picture that shows three of them after they’ve been nuked and out in the sun for some time. What are these scary invaders? Thanks for your help and your great insight and web site.
Ben Fineburg

Dear Ben Fineburg,
Yes, we are down due to heavy traffic, thanks in part to the USA Today Hot Site selection on 7 June. We have just paid for an upgrade and expect to be back up within 24 hours. Your bees look similar, but slenderer than our California Carpenter Bees. It is possible that a female dug a burrow and her brood has recently emerged. Young bees will rest awhile before taking flight. Carpenter Bees can cause considerable damage to wood, but they generally are not aggressive and are reluctant to sting. They are solitary bees, meaning they do not form a hive proper. A female will excavate a burrow in the wood and lay several dozen eggs. Like I said, your specimens look slender, but they could be Xylocopa virginica or a close relative.

Correction courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
This post is of Megachile sculpturalis not carpenter bees!

Location:  “Dirt” Burnell, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We found this beautiful Sweat Bee busily gathering honey and pollen from a wild artichoke in the canyon today. These are solitary bees with metallic green bodies. They nest in a tubular burrow dug in the ground, often in clay banks. They are members of the genus Augochlorella.

ed. Note: (09/06/2004) Eric just wrote in: “The metallic sweat bee is probably an Agapostemon sp. rather than whatever the current name on it is, but they are hard to separate without the specimen in hand.”

(06/07/2004) Are we really a USA Today Hot Site?

Saw your web site – Hot Site from USA Today.
Just shot this last weekend.. The bees were going crazy over this bush in my yard.. Didn’t mind me one bit. It was amazing to me to see how much this bee had stuck to it.

Thanks for the Honey Bee photo John.