Currently viewing the category: "Solitary Bees"

Subject:  Another query for you
Geographic location of the bug:  Tarn region, South West France
Date: 10/18/2017
Time: 11:25 AM EDT
Hi bugman Daniel,
Thanks for your speedy reply and for answering my question. Great service! I think your website is fantastic, with so much info there – you must be really fascinated by all these bugs.
I have another query for you. Another piece of wood, this time poplar with about 1cm or just under half inch holes. The larvae have gone but left behind stuff like cotton wool with a hard case inside – now empty. I guess it’s another beetle, but bigger this time. Any ideas?
Best regards,
Phil Anfield

European Wool Carder Bee Nest, we believe

Hi again Phil,
We believe this is the nest of a European Wool Carder Bee, a species represented on BugGuide because it has been introduced to North America.  According to BugGuide:  “Females collect ‘wool’ from downy plants such as Lamb’s Ears to line their nest cavities.”  Here is a FlickR image and a BugGuide image of the nest.


Subject:  Carpenter Bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Thabazimbi, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Date: 09/29/2017
Time: 03:05 AM EDT
I cam across this cheerful fellow in the garden and my first thought was that it is a bumble bee, but according to Wikipedia bumble bees are not found in Southern Africa. I then had a look at carpenter bees, but the images I saw all looked fairly different.
How you want your letter signed:  Robin Lankes

Carpenter Bee

Dear Robin,
We agree that this is a Carpenter Bee, probably a male because of his golden color.  Based on this iSpot image, it might be
Xylocopa caffra.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Subject:  Bee ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Manhattan, kandas
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 06:50 PM EDT
Is this a bee on my marigolds? Strange and large !!
How you want your letter signed:  Coleen

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Dear Coleen,
This is an Eastern Carpenter Bee, and despite its name, it is reported as far west as Colorado based on BugGuide data.

Subject:  It looks like a bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 09/03/2017
Time: 12:19 AM EDT
Hello there. I came across this beautiful insect, which is the size of my thumb when I got back home. Sadly, I couldn’t get a photo of its full body, but it somewhat resembles a bee when it comes out from burrowing in the wood.
I was fascinated how it bore a hole, but I did not want to bother it. Again, it resembled a bee in flight and outside the burrow, since I got it to fly out. I checked on it later to see if it’s out of the burrow, but it returned to chewing wood.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you for helping me identify this fascinating insect. I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Carpenter Bee

This is definitely a Carpenter Bee, and according to Anim Agro Technology:  “CARPENTER BEES (Xylocopa spp) or locally in Malaysia known as Lebah Tukang or Lebah Kayu are the largest bee species.”  The site has wonderful images and information.  Your Carpenter Bee might be Xylocopa aestuans, a species from nearby Singapore which is profiled on taxo4254.

Subject:  Metallic Green Sweat Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Powhatan, VA
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 10:40 AM EDT
I have lived in this area for many years and never noticed this type of bee. My fiance’ planted an African Blue Basil plant that is flourishing and it had a couple dozen of these bees all over it for several days. Quickly identified it through your site. Now I’m hooked on looking up the bugs we have around here. Thank you for the work you do putting this site together.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Talbert – Powhatan, VA

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Mike,
We were hoping we would find a gorgeous image of an insect we have never featured as Bug of the Month this morning, and your submission is perfect.  Your enthusiasm over sighting this Metallic Green Sweat Bee is refreshing, and your image makes a gorgeous Bug of the Month for September, 2017.  Metallic Green Sweat Bees seem to be attracted to purple flowers.

Subject: Not a Fly
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 12, 2017 2:42 pm
Hi Bugman,
Like most, I stumbled upon your website looking for the identity of a little buddy I found lazily buzzing through my office.
At first, I thought it was a green bottle fly, but on closer inspection its head resembles that of a wasp’s. It’s also much slower than a housefly–its movements are sluggish in comparison and it seems a lot calmer in general. Even as I type this, it makes no effort to escape it’s tiny (albeit temporary) prison.
Whenever possible, I try to catch and release bugs that end up trapped in my car, home, or office. As such, I applaud your stance on extermination, and appreciate this service you offer the public. It’s nice to see folks passionate about a subject, but it’s even more spectacular when said folks share that passion with others. Thank and keep up the great work!
Signature: Julien

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Julien,
Thank you for your kind words.  You are correct that this is NOT a fly.  This is a Green Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, but we do not have the necessary skills to provide a definite species.  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)” and “A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful.”