Category: sam droege

Number 19 in our series of postings and part o…

Number 19 in our series of postings and part of our CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEES. 

Here we illuminate the problem that many gardeners face… What do I plant? Weeds and other garden plants sometimes attract tons of bees, is this helpful? Well, it is helpful in that many bees come to these plants to forage on pollen and even the specialist bees will come to for the quick energy that nectar provides . However, similar to birdfeeders, most of these plants are feeding the bees that are doing quite well; the sparrow and pigeon bees if you will. Native plants, on the other hand, have had millions of years to synchronize with the local wild bee fauna. As such, there’s a great deal of specialization and general community membership that goes beyond bees, these are plants that have numerous associations with other native denizens of our wild scapes, other insects, bacteria, fungi and interplay with plant communities that foster many uncommon and rare species. Without these native plants a good deal of our native bees would disappear and bringing with them would be many other plants and animals. So, it makes most sense to start your gardens with native plants and backfill with some of the traditional plants that you will love.

KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.  Number seven.Pa…

KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.  Number seven.

Pay attention, you are walking on bees when you walk on the ground.

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 start of our new “Know Your Wild Bees Camp…

The start of our new “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

Andrena dunningi.  

Andrena dunningi.  

A large dark Andrena

This lovely female, in fresh plumage, is relatively easy to identify simply by the orange brown color of its body hairs along with the nearly black hairs located on its hind legs which it uses to carry pollen to its nest. However, after it’s been out in the sun for several weeks it can also turn the same off-white coloration that most of the other Andrena bees have in this group. This is a bee of tree flowers. In particular, it favors Willows, but can be found on a wide variety of spring blooming woody plants, though seemingly avoiding the heath family, which has its own specialists. This bee was photographed by Sue Boo and collected in Harford County Maryland.

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 head of a specimen of Bombus affinis from th…

A head of a specimen of Bombus affinis from the tip of Long Island, collected by the fabulous Roy Lantham a Potato Farmer, naturalist, and insect collector.  From what I know, Roy (now passed on) was quite the eccentric, but he made very valuable contributions to all sorts of natural history fields from his collections of local plants and animals.  

[Aside:  A little sidebar here: Why not do a little self check-in here to assess whether you have made any sort of permanent contribution to the natural history world]. 

Roy’s permanent contributions form reference points from now until we depopulate ourselves and the insects once again take over.  Photograph by Greta Forbes.  

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.