Currently viewing the category: "Solitary Bees"

Subject:  What is this insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Corona, CA
Date: 06/09/2018
Time: 11:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a female Carpenter Bee? I found it in my side yard.
Thank you,
How you want your letter signed:  Carrie in Corona

Female Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Carrie in Corona,
You are correct that this is a female Valley Carpenter Bee, a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism.  Male Valley Carpenter Bees are golden in color and females are black.  Male Valley Carpenter Bees, like other male bees and wasps, are not capable of stinging since the stinger of wasps and bees is a modified ovipositor, an organ used by the female to lay eggs.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees are not aggressive, and though they are capable of stinging, they rarely do so.

Subject:  Carpenter Bee from Bangkok, Thailand
Geographic location of the bug:  Nhong Bon, Bangkok, Thailand
Date: 05/31/2018
Time: 07:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I shoot these photos on May 27, 2018 in a park located in Nhong Bon District, Bangkok, Thailand.  It is a big black shiny bug with blue eyes and blue wings. When I found it, it laid on the road path and could not fly. A big red ant was attempting to harm it so I moved it to the tree nearby. I have never see this bug before but due to my research (from this site) It  possibly be a Carpenter Bee.  I’m so excited.
How you want your letter signed:  Prasyth P.

Carpenter Bee

Dear Prasyth,
We concur that this is a Carpenter Bee.  We are postdating your submission to go live to our site in mid-June while we are away from the office.

Subject:  Black bug with wings and 6 legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Denton texas
Date: 03/03/2018
Time: 03:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just curious as to what this is.
How you want your letter signed:  Justin

Mason Bee with Mites

Dear Justin,
The large insect in your images is some species of Hymenopteran, most likely a species of solitary Bee, and it appears to be crawling with Mites.  We searched for information on Bees and Mites and we discovered a site, Bee Mite ID, that can be used to identify the Mites, but better images are needed and input from someone with far more skills at identifying mites than we have, like an acarist, would be helpful. We found an image on BugGuide of a Bumble Bee with Mites, another image on BugGuide of an Orchard Bee with Mites, and an image of a Mason Bee with Mites also on BugGuide. Some Mites that infest insects and arthropods are detrimental to the health of the Bees and the Nests, while other Mites only use insects to move from place to place, a phenomenon known as Phoresy, and those Mites, even when numerous, are not detrimental to the host.  We will write to Eric Eaton in the hope of getting a more specific identification for you.  Was this Bee able to fly?

MasonBee with Mites

Eric Eaton Responds
Yes, a mason bee covered in mites.  I am no mite expert and am not sure whether they are beneficial to the bee, detrimental to the bee, or of no consequence at all.  Looks like even mite experts are still trying to sort them out:
I wish I could be more helpful.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Facebook Posting by Lisa Phillips:  My Mason bee blocks got infested with these mites. Built new blocks and burned the old ones.

Thank you so much for the quick response. I’m not sure if it was able to fly. It did not try to fly away when i walked up to it so i am assuming that it couldnt. Unfortunately those are the only two pictures that i got of it.  I really do appreciate you finding this out for me.  I had never seen anything like it.  The only thing i could think of is that it was a bee or some sort of wasp with eggs or babies.  I remember seeing a spider with the babies on its back.  Thank you again.

Hi again Justin,
The spider you saw is probably a species of Wolf Spider.  The female drags around her egg sac and carries she carries her spiderlings for a short time so they have time to disperse throughout her range.  We have been thinking about your sighting.  We suspect that it would be difficult for so many Mites to crawl on an adult Mason Bee, but a newly metamorphosed individual would be most vulnerable up until the time of its maiden flight.

Subject:  Is this a type of large bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Luanda Angola, West Africa
Date: 03/02/2018
Time: 03:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This large 3-inch bee-looking insect visited me on a beach in Luanda, Angola in West Africa. It was alone & looked tired and crawled when I touched it.
It appeared to be a bee with fuzzy legs but was very large.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael Ryan

Male Carpenter Bee

Dear Michael,
This is a Carpenter Bee, probably
Xylocopa capra.  Like many species of Carpenter Bees, males are gold in color while females are black.

Daniel, thanks so much for the quick & accurate answer. Impressive!!!!
I’m thrilled to be able to speak knowledgeably – much appreciated!

Subject:  What type of bee? is this??
Geographic location of the bug:  North America, California, Northern California
Date: 02/20/2018
Time: 08:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me identify this little nugget! I’m so curious, especially as I have exhausted my own resources for identifying it. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kayt

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Kayt,
This is a male Valley Carpenter BeeFemales of the species are black and they are more commonly sighted as they have a longer life span.

Subject:  Carpenter Bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Johannesburg, South Africa
Date: 01/04/2018
Time: 11:08 AM EDT
Hi there!
Just wanted to know if this is a carpenter bee, male or female?
Thanks for a great website.
How you want your letter signed:  Bees knees

Southern Carpenter Bee

Dear Bees knees,
This is indeed a Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa caffra, and the two white bands indicate it is a female.  Here is an iSpot image for comparison.  Males of the species are golden in color, and here is an iSpot image.

Dear Daniel.
Thanks so much for the quick response.
It’s a beautiful bee. Never seen it before.