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Megachile latimanus – At the bigger end of the leaf cutter spectrum. Northernish and appears, at least in the mid-atlantic, to be retracting its range. After 20 years of surveying bees in the region, I feel like we are just beginning to make sense of where bees are and some small things about their relative rarity. Like all deep understandings of nature this is the result of obsession, not a study or a job.
Megachile lanata – Globetrotting tropical leafcutter, decked in orange. If I recall the story right this is originally a bee of the Indian subcontinent. Why it and not other (but some!) leafcutters now roam tropical islands around the world is an interesting mystery (at least to me). This specimen is from GTMO (Guantanamo Military Base) in Cuba, if you go to Hawaii or Florida you will find this rather magnificent bee there too. Records dating back in some instances to the 1700s prior to when most of the bees of North America were described!
Yes Orange Hair.
A Centris species from the Dominican Republic. This is probably identified by now, by don’t have the time to match ID to picture at this point. Photograph from Kamren Jefferson.
Very useful for floating tiny insects.
Particularly if you put them in a cuvette and take their picture like this small leaf beetle sort of thing from Dominican Republic. Am thinking we need to get back to doing some of these shots for small beautiful insects.
Back to the great Chilean expedition of 2017.
Here is Ruizanthedella mutabilis, which, if I recall correctly, is something of a dirtball species, one that was found regularly and elicited no excitement from Laurence Packer, expedition chief. Halictids are like that. Photo by Anders Croft
Tightly wrapped in fur-like orange hair, this lovely western bumblebee was captured at the far edge of its range in Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
Near the Black Hills, an island of Rocky Mountain type habitat in a sea of prairie, the Badlands are receivers perhaps of bees that otherwise would not inhabit prairie habitats. Photo by Brooke Alexander.
The giant bumblebee (Bombus dahlbomii).
A denizen of the southern Andes and widely believed to be in decline due to competition and perhaps spread of pathogens with two introduced European bumblebees that have invaded the region. You notice this bee when it flies by. Dramatically orange with yellow highlights on the traditional deep black integument of bumblebees.
Specifically, the genus Helianthus to separate out the other “sunflower” plants.
Only found in North America. So tall and glorious that we have adopted many 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 A. helainthi. How nice that it was found tucked in Hartville, OH by MaLisa Spring. Photo by Anders Croft.
Bees are small. It doesn’t take that much pollen and nectar to raise a baby bee. One clump of flowers is enough to support several bees. Look around. Are you supporting flowers….and bees. Question lawns.
Number 23. In the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN