Category: bees

Hey now here is a common bee from Kruger Natio…

Hey now here is a common bee from Kruger National Park, Meliturgula scriptifrons.  

A smallish brown bee that are commonly caught in bowl traps.  Part of the small number of genera in Andrenidae.  

Photo by Kelly Graninger.

Megachile fortis

Megachile fortis

Fromm the Badlands of South Dakota.

BIG

Check out its forelegs!

Likes sunflowers

Has expanded tips to antennae

We know little to nothing about this species.

I stopped by the One of a Kind show in Toronto…

I stopped by the One of a Kind show in Toronto tonight and found my friends at the Heritage Bee Co! They have an amazing Mint Chocolate Chip infused honey, it’s so unique 😍

Petrified Forest National Monument in Arizona …

Petrified Forest National Monument in Arizona was created to preserve, as you  might expect, petrified forests.  

But other things come with this preservation as occurs also in our National Battlefields, Historic Sites, and Recreation areas.   Nature uses these places as her pockets, filled with biodiversity which can later be resown when barren wastelands need to again be fruitful.  For this we are thankful.  Lovely Perdita aridella shown … not petrified.  Photo by Sierra Williams.

Sytyropha on white background.  

Sytyropha on white background.  

S. krigei to be specific from Kruger National Park in South Africa.  

This specimen was identified and photographed by Silas Bossert a bee researcher at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.  They use similar systems to what we use, but prefer gray to white backgrounds, they are equally detailed.  Silas is identifying a number of the specimens we captured a few years ago in Kruger and we are very much appreciative of his expertise.  This species specializes on morning glories and carries pollen throughout its body rather than simply on the legs.  It is also a sweat bee…interesting world.  

Sand.  

Sand.  

The Golden Sand Loving Bee.  

When I think of bees that are sand loving I think of Lasioglossum vierecki.  For one, how nice to have a golden orange bee to look at.  For second it is common in sandy areas…so if you are going to find a sand specialist in a sand mine, dune, beach, barren, sandhill in the Northeast there you will find this little orange bee.  Thirdly it is easy to identify, which in the bee world is a bit of a blessing.  

This bad girl was discovered along a transmission line in Massachusetts by Michael Veit as part of David Wagner study of bees in these uncommon strip habitats.  

Osmia georgica.  

Osmia georgica.  

Nests in holes.  

Hangs out on mid summer composites.  

Has orange pollen carrying hairs.  

Has boss knobs on the upper side of the mandibles (why?).  

This specimen found on Dave Wagner’s  transmission line study  in New England by Michael Veit.  

All good.  

Aptly named:  Lasioglossum coeruleum.  

Aptly named:  Lasioglossum coeruleum.  

Most of the many confusing members of these small sweat bees glimmer discretely in metallic integument, but our friend here takes it up a notch to and Osmia level.  

This makes them identifiable…except for the problem that some of them are not so bright…irritating if you have to identify them…but once you get the pattern you feel a small sense of superiority to those in power in the world who clearly would fail if you asked them to identify an “off” L. coeruleum specimen. So there.  Specimen collected by Michael Veit in transmission lines in CT…

Female Macropis ciliata from NH.

Female Macropis ciliata from NH.

Collected by Michael Veit on transmission lines…part of a David Wagner study of bees and transmission.  

This bee is special.  Not as common as it once was and a specialist on Lysimachia (Loosestrife) natives.  These plants produce oils that the Macropis add to their pollen balls for their babies.  No Lysimachia…no Macropis.  

Powerlines.  

Powerlines.  

Or more accurately transmission corridors.  

Now one of the few places that open country forb communities exist in many parts of the East.  Often seen as a blight, they if not mown or sprayed to death, are places of refuge for many rare bees.  Over the next few days you will see several rarities from a study that David Wagner created with specimens, like this one collected by the bee whisperer of New England Michael Veit.  Oh, this is Triepeolus obliteratus….rare, but with the nice character of having only 2 rather than 3 submarginals…(thus the “obliteratus” part of the name)