Fun wasp from Kruger National Park.
Note the expanded antennal ends (actually the other antennae snapped off). Most likely this is one of the pollen gathering wasps in Masserinae group.
So, you thought only bees in the stinging category of insects gathered pollen. Nope. However, in North America, these wasps mostly, if not entirely show up only in the West.
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.
The tapered look of a nest parasite of Megachile.
This is Coelioxys gilensis.
Found in Yosemite National park and collected for a project done by Lauren Ponisio examining the effect of fire diversity on bees (Ponisio et al. Global Change Biol. 2016).
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Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf
Public Bee Servant, sam droege