Category: droege

Parasites.  Why not let others do your work?

Parasites.  Why not let others do your work?

#9 – KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

#5 The Sting of the Bee. More like a hypodermi…

  • #5 The Sting of the Bee. More like a hypodermic needle…less like a fish hook. The KNOW YOUR WILD BEES campaign helps you at cocktail parties

Day 3

Day 3

Dawn glints off the massive egg of a carpenter bee

The Know Your Wild Bees Baby Campaign

This is a bee I don’t see that often. 

This is a bee I don’t see that often. 

It is both northern and Appalachian, but even in those areas it seems to be not terribly common. It looks fairly similar to its cousin Andrena nasonii, but Andrena wheeleri Is a bee that forages on low herbaceous vegetation, mostly. 

Just another connector in the largely undocumented web of bees and plants. . Photographs by Kamren Jefferson.

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:

http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

A very small soldier beetle. This beetle is fr…

A very small soldier beetle. This beetle is from the genus Malthodes and was collected by Brent Steury near Little Hunting Creek on the George Washington Memorial Parkway lands, operated by the National Park Service. While the species is still unknown, it does represent a new state record for Virginia and is in the process of being published. What its role is in the context of keeping the forest balanced and functioning is not really known, but all these small little members of the forest tribe form a collective that promotes and creates its own diversity with the interlocking webs that keeps forests protected during stressful times.

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:

http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

The tricky Small Hive Beetle.  

The tricky Small Hive Beetle.  

One of the many banes of the bee keepers, Aethina tumida.   

Small things … about the size of half an eraser head.  These beetles smell like bees and even sometimes get fed by bees.  It is not the adults that are the problem to the bee keeper it is ….the bad habits of the babies.  Once established in the hive, they are hard to get out of the hive or eliminate without eliminating the bees too.  You can thank global transportation as these beetles traveled from their native Africa and now are found throughout North America.  Specimen from the Francisco Posada…bee whisperer and beetle wrangler for USDA, Beltsville.  

All those facts are well and good, but I just like looking at them.  So nicely and cleverly put together.  The deep maroon blending to a soft venous blood, bilaterally mounded and curved in proportions unexplainably beautiful beyond  simple notions of golden means.  Underneath, a package of interlocking plate-like legs, well-protected in self-contained transformer armor.  All around prickled in curtains of pits that help flick bits of light from the folds of the bounced flash.  If that were 6 feet tall we would certainly worship it as a god.

A Japanese Bee in America.  This is Anthopho…

A Japanese Bee in America.  

This is Anthophora villosula.
 An Anthophora (Digger Bee) that was introduced in the 80s to Eastern U.S. for agricultural purposes, but its potential was never realized.  

Now, unfortunately, it is a common and spreading alien species dispersing from its original location in the Washington D.C. area and will likely spread to occupy much of the country at some point.  It can be found nesting in the dry dirt under decks, in upturned root masses and in the earthen plaster of strawbale houses such as our bee biologist’s Sam Droege’s, where it nests by the hundreds.  It does favor the “alien” plant community over the natives so it will be another interesting story to watch how it integrates and competes with the local bee fauna.  

Photographs by Brooke Alexander.

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

Sunflowers.  

Sunflowers.  

Specifically, the genus Helianthus to separate out the other “sunflower” plants. Helianthus is only found in North America.  So tall and glorious that we have adopted many sunflower species for our gardens.  Thrusting skyward they telegraph their supply of pollen and nectar to the bees that only feed their young pollen of Sunflower.  Here is one of them.  The appropriately named Andrena helainthi.  How nice that it was found tucked in Hartville, OH by MaLisa Spring. 

 Photo by Anders Croft.    

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

First … do you see the bunny waving to …

First … do you see the bunny waving to you in this picture?

Now, the rest of the story…

This bee, Coelioxys immaculata, is an uncommon nest parasite of other bees.  Almost by definition it must be less common since the young C. immaculata usurps a cell of a leaf-cutter bee, kills the host baby bee and eats its food before emerging the next year.  Note the interesting pattern of lobes on its tail end.  Mysterious.  

Here is a lovely black and red seed. 

Here is a lovely black and red seed. 

 Photographed on the cut tip of a pin. 

Sadly, I do not have a record of the seed’s name, so any help with this distinct specimen would be appreciated.  This seed came from a 100 year old collection of seeds used as reference by the old Bureau of Biological Survey.  They would dissect vertebrate stomachs and then determine what they ate by identifying the seeds there in…thus the need for the seed collection.  Am going through the unprocessed specimens while we get our new set up running.  This dates to 2014.