Jan 11th – Interim Reports Sent, Andrena progress, and a new xray machine

Everyone who sampled in 2020 should now have an email with their initial results of the bees identified to at least genus. If you did not receive your email, check your spam/junk box. If you cannot find an email from me, please email me ASAP and I will send it again. I ended up sending out 145 emails, so it took a whole day to send out everything.

For questions about your sampling results, please refer to the last blog post on December 20th or email MaLisa directly.


Progress updates:

Sending the reports only took about a day, so what have I been doing in the meantime? Identifying bees of course! There were also a few days off, but we otherwise made good progress organizing the lab, and identifying all the Eucera, Anthophora, Hoplitis, Pseudopanurgus, and Heriades.

I also started on the Andrena, but those will take a few weeks as we have almost 2,000 Andrena specimens. Andrena are solitary mining bees that are most abundant and diverse in the spring, but there are some cool fall species as well. Many species of Andrena are also specialists, meaning they use only a small number of plants for pollen. So Andrena eriginae will forage predominantly on spring beauties, whereas Andrena hirticincta is a fall aster specialist. To see what Andrena forage on what plant, check out the Ohio specialist bee guide and also the specialist bee website here: https://jarrodfowler.com/specialist_bees.html

I created a poll to see which species people thought would be most abundant. So I will extend that poll to our blog too! Of the Andrena, which species do you bet is most likely to be the most abundant across all of our sites from our 2020 bee bowl samples?

Andrena wilkella is a midseason Andrena and larger than a lot of other species. It has bright orange hairs on the end of the abdomen, so it has been deemed team orange butt.  The left image shows a different Andrena with an orange butt, but you get the idea. Meanwhile, the second most popular choice is Andrena nasonii, which is a smaller bee with somewhat triangular leg and thus deemed team triangle leg. Which species will actually be most abundant? Give me about 3 more weeks to find out.

Once I get through the Andrena, my goal is to take a few days to work on the specialist bee project and get those reports out too. If you are looking for a challenge for 2022, consider signing up to help with the specialist bee project, which involves more targeted sampling of bees directly from flowers. See more here: https://u.osu.edu/beesurvey/native-bee-survey-via-specimen-collections/120-2/


Other lab updates:

Thanks to some additional funds from another project, the lab now has an x-ray machine for bee tube nests! We won’t be using it much on this project, but I thought I would mention it since it is a cool thing to see.

The x-ray machine shipped in this large box.

The actual x-ray machine (left) is barely larger than some of the older desktop computers. The rays are entirely contained and it will not shoot any rays unless the compartment door is fully shut and everything is sealed inside.

The field of view is pretty small, so it only x-rays pieces of tube nests about the size of our hands, but it allows us to zoom in and see any bees inside of tube nests without actually opening up the nests.

Here you can see that these stem nests are full of baby bees and their pollen provisions! The bright white lines are the mud or leaf caps that separate the bees into their own section.

I tried brining in my own pithy stems from my garden that had Ceratina nesting in them last year. It looks like the Ceratina left my nests, but they at least hollowed out the center.

The x-ray machine also works on small bones. Being invertebrates, bees lack bones, so we had to borrow a skull from another lab for this image. Any guesses on what organism it is? (If you squint, you will see the photo is actually labelled with the answer)

That is all of the updates I have for now.

Best wishes,

MaLisa

Dec 20 – Progress Updates and Interpreting Interim Reports!

Hello! Happy last blog of the year!

You might be excited to hear that we are almost finished with identifying things to genus, at which point, we will send out individual interim reports to the collectors.

Since they will be interim reports, the emails will be somewhat short and include a raw datafile of just that locations data. Collectors should expect an email sometime in January (assuming all goes well). I won’t be able to individualize the 145 interim reports, so I am going to detail in this blog how to interpret the data so people can find their own nuggets of fun.


Interpreting the data:

The key thing to remember is that the sample method detects presence, but not necessarily absence. We can only safely say that x species is found at that location, not that y species is not present. Thus, use the data with caution and to serve as a baseline for what you know is present. I guarantee that you have many more species present at each location, especially when it comes to bigger bees that more easily escape the bee bowls. The few big bees that we did catch were often old, ragged, and at the end of their life, which explains how they ended up getting stuck in the bowls. Meanwhile, most of the smaller (grain of rice sized) bees tended to be in much better shape.

The data will be shared via excel. Some people had a lot of bees in their samples, so in order to figure out what you had, it might be easier to make pivot tables in excel (or equivalent program) to more easily interpret the data.

Each column has a different type of information stored. Each row (beyond the first row that is the column header) is an individual bee. You will need to scroll to the right to see all the columns.

Each individual bee will have their own unique record number that should be in the format of OHBB-####. Who identified the specimen and ID notes are also recorded. The full identification that is available should be in the scientificName column.

To learn more about the individual bees that you collected, I recommend copying the full name from the scientificName column and using a search engine to learn more. You can also check to see if they are specialist bees by looking at Jarrod Fowler’s specialist bee website here: https://jarrodfowler.com/specialist_bees.html

If you have more than 100 specimens, you might find it useful to make pivot tables on a computer to more easily interpret the data. I will do a brief demo of making pivot tables here, but this information works for excel on a windows device. If you do not use excel or have a different device, there should be similar programs that allow you to do the same thing.

Making pivot tables in excel:

Scroll past this section if you have under 100 specimens or are happy with just looking at your data as individual rows. No need to stress over confusing computer wizardry if you don’t have to. 

First make a new tab in your excel sheet by clicking on the + sign on the bottom left side.

Click the + sign to make a new sheet. Then navigate back to sheet 1.

Once you are back to the main data page, use your keyboard to click on ctrl+a  at the same time to select all (or just highlight the entire dataset).

Once your data is highlighted, navigate to the insert tab at the top left of the screen, which should lead you to seeing a pivot table option on the top left.

Once you click on the pivot table tab, this should pop up. We already highlighted the data, so that should be good. Your range numbers will be different from this example, since this photo is pivoting the whole database. Under the choose where you want the pivot table, I typically choose existing worksheet and switch to the second tab to insert it there. Or you can make a new worksheet. That part doesn’t really matter as much. Click ok.

Once you click okay, you should be greeted with something like this. You can then drag and drop various characters into the rows and values column to quickly sort the data.

The combination you will most likely want is the scientific name in the rows section and then a count of the record number in the values section

Doing so should give you a table that looks similar to this one, showing all the genera and species that were reported from your site and also the number of individuals reported.

You can play around with the pivot tables to see tables of bees by month (month in rows section), bees by sample date (sample date in rows section), bees by sex (sex in rows section), who identified what (recordedBy in rows section), etc. You can even filter the different species so then you can see individual species flight peaks by month or however else you want to look at the data.  There are plenty of ways to look at the data, so have fun! If you end up making a cool graph with your data and want to share it on the blog, email MaLisa and she will share it.

Here is an example graph you can make with just a few clicks. There is a pretty obvious peak in August for Calliopsis, with the earliest specimen observed in June at Cedar Bog. Also note that playing around with the data makes errors and issues more obvious. You can see our lovely sample date where we could not determine the month. Check the notes column to see if there is an explanation for any weirdness.


Anticipated questions:

I found an error. Can you fix it? 

Yes! If you find an error (we mistyped the address, your name is spelled incorrectly, we said your bee was a giraffe, etc), please email MaLisa! We will work on fixing the error ASAP.  We try to double check everything, but some things slip through. So if you think you found an error, let us know.

What does Ceratina dupla/mikmaqi mean? Why not identify it as Ceratina dupla or Ceratina mikmaqi?

In some cases, we are not able to easily identify things all the way to species, but are able to rule out other species. The most common example where that happens is with the male Ceratina specimens with narrow femurs. We can rule them out to either dupla or mikmaqi, but often they end up glued to the pin along the edge of the femur and we cannot see the detail necessary to say more.  Sometimes legs with key characters are broken off, so some people will have Ceratina dupla/strenua females. When they are listed as Genus speciesx/speciesy, it just means that we are able to rule it down to those two species, but cannot say for sure based on the specimen.

When should I expect my final report?

It is going to be a while before we get to species. Getting to genus was speed identifying. We identified the easy species as we went. Now all that are left are the harder genera, which will take much more time. It is possible that I might take another year and a half to get through what is left, but the timeline is unclear at this point. I will keep you updated as we go.

How rare is this bee?

Assigning rarity is hard. For bigger bees, you can check the iNaturalist.org records, though some of the big species are still hard to identify. So just because you do not see many records on iNaturalist does not mean it is rare. It might just be really hard to identify.

If you got the following genera, then you can rest assured that you have an uncommon bee that few others collected: Anthophora, (only 25 total collected out of 53,000+), Chelostoma (only 12), Coelioxys (only 4), Eucera (only 90), Heriades (only 44), Melitoma (only 25 and it is a specialist of morning glory), Pseudopanurgus (only 37), Ptilothrix (only 20 and a specialist on Hibiscus), Stelis (only 10), etc. A few other rarer ones not listed will likely lead to a publication and to be announced later.

How do I get more species of bees present at my site?

First, it helps to figure out what species you have. The interim report should help with that. From there, you can start to look for what you are missing.

Floral resources: You can try to plant more floral resources for specialist bees. You are unlikely to get specialists at your site without the host plants, so cultivating the correct specialist hosts helps. For a list of specialist plants, look at Jarrod Fowler’s specialist bee website and our Guide to the Specialist Bees of Ohio.

Rotten wood: Do you have Augochlora pura in your list? These are conspicuous bright green bees that nest in old fallen logs that are practically mush. The type of logs that if you try to pick them up, they crumble in your hands and are already practically soil. If you have a wood lot, consider leaving a small log or two instead of using it all for firewood. If you just have a small backyard, consider saving a few of the larger branches from the next wind storm and pick a small obscure spot for the log to rot. It might take 4 years, but eventually the wood gets to the right state of decay that is perfect for Augochlora. Plus, other animals will also enjoy the decayed wood, from a host of salamanders, slugs, fungus beetles, and other important organisms.

Pithy stems: Do you have Ceratina in your list? These bees are stem nesters, and in particular like to nest in the stems of last years plants. The easiest way to get more Ceratina is to be a little bit more messy when gardening, leaving last years stems. It also helps to only trim down last years stems to no lower than 12 inches. That leaves plenty of pithy stem for them to nest.

Example of a pithy stem where the small carpenter bees in the genus Ceratina have excavated out the center of the dead stem. As far as I am aware, they only use old, dead stems and will not use fresh, living plants. That is why it is so important to leave about 12 inches of last years stem for them to nest.

Nesting resources: This part is much harder to fix. A majority of bees nest in the soil, so you are stuck with the soil type that you have. Allow bare patches of soil to persist instead of immediately reseeding with turf.

We do not currently advise people to use the store bought cavity nests that are now readily available, as they often lead to high parasite loads which might spillover into wild populations. The store bought cavity nests also tend to host more of the non-native bee species (Megachile rotundata, Osmia taurus and Osmia cornifrons) instead of our native species. I have tried using the cavity nests and also making my own, but have consistently gotten non-native bees and also high parasitism rates.

I got a lot of (non-native) bees at my cavity nests! The parasitic wasps took full advantage of the easy to find nests as well.

The parasites have long, drill-like ovipositors that they use to insert their eggs into the bee nest. It is pretty cool to watch, though unfortunate for your bees. My bee hotels ended up being parasite smorgasbords.


Wasp course:

Want to learn more about non-bee wasps? Well, there is a course covering all the other wasps that are not bees, starting in January! Also, did I mention that it is a fully remote course? There is a small fee ($60 for regular, $45 for students). See more about the course here: https://waspidcourse.wordpress.com/ 

All for now,

MaLisa

Dec 6 – Progress Updates, PBS Bee Doc, and other fun

Hi Everyone!

We are up to 44,000+ bees identified to at least genus! The last two weeks have been hectic with various days off, so progress has been slow. We are also down to the last few weeks of the semester, so students will be switching up how they are working with us. That potentially means graduate students putting in more hours, with undergraduate students logging fewer hours.

Our lovely pie chart of identification progress to genus level. There is still plenty left to go for species IDs

 


PBS Bee Documentary: My Garden of a Thousand Bees

I finally got around to watching the PBS bee documentary that a few people sent to me a few months ago. For those who haven’t seen it, the documentary is about a wildlife videographer in the UK who spent his lockdown filming the bees in his small backyard. He got some fun video and even though it is not in Ohio, many of the bee genera are the same. See more about the fun film here: https://www.pbs.org/video/my-garden-of-a-thousand-bees-trjhzt/


Fun Bycatch Wasp:

Occasionally, a few non bee wasps ended up getting pinned by accident. The square headed wasp was staring me down as I went through the IDs last week.

My, what big eyes you have!

These are cavity nesting predatory wasps, though what they forage on depends on the wasp species. They can also regularly be found visiting flowers.


Wasp course:

Want to learn more about non-bee wasps? Well, there is a course covering all the other wasps that are not bees, starting in January! Also, did I mention that it is a fully remote course? There is a small fee ($60 for regular, $45 for students). See more about the course here: https://waspidcourse.wordpress.com/ 

All for now,

MaLisa

Nov 22 – Survey Updates, Ceratina ID, and Wasp Course

Hi Everyone!

We have made it above 41,000 bees identified to at least genus, with half of those identified to species! Slowly but surely has been the mantra in the lab.


Small Carpenter Bee (Ceratina) species level identification:

Face of a male carpenter bee peeking out of at pithy stem nest. These bees are common at most sites, moreso at sites with plenty of pithy stemmed plants. We have 4 species in Ohio, with many sites having 3/4 of the species.

I had originally written up a whole blog on species level identification of Ceratina, but I ended up refining it into a presentation using powerpoint instead, and then saved it as a pdf. It is not a perfect guide, and applies mostly to Ohio (so if you are in a southern state, you will need additional resources). This is the guide that I have been training people with in the lab to help us get through our abundance of Ceratina.

The most helpful part of the guide is probably the summary slides, which give you the key characters you need to go through, depending on the sex.

The most helpful part of the guide is probably the summary slides, which give you the key characters you need to go through, depending on the sex.

See guide here: Ohio Ceratina ID

See also, Sam Droege’s presentation on Ceratina identification here (video 13): http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beemovies/index.html 


Wasp course:

Want to learn more about non-bee wasps? Well, there is a course covering all the other wasps that are not bees, starting in January! Also, did I mention that it is a fully remote course? There is a small fee ($60 for regular, $45 for students). See more about the course here: https://waspidcourse.wordpress.com/ 

All for now,

MaLisa

Nov 8th – Bee Survey Update and weird wasps

Hi Everyone,

We made it up to 37,000 bees identified to at least genus, with 18,800 of those identified to species. We are slowly creeping towards our goal.

Slowly but surely, we will get to 100% identified to at least genus.


Not quite bees:

Occasionally, some non-bee wasps got past my sorting efforts and ended up getting pinned. Interestingly, it seems that cleptoparasitic wasps were more often accidentally pinned. These wasps look very similar to the cleptoparasitic bees, but they are actually in the family Crabronidae.

This Epinysson wasp looks superficially similar to Epeolus cleptoparasitic bees, but it is instead a parasitic wasp in the family Crabronidae. It was collected by K. Salvagno from Morrow County.

We also got a wasp that I believe is in the genus Nysson. It was collected by B. Stitt in Medina County.

Many of these non-bee wasps can look very similar to bees. I find that looking at them face on helps differentiate them from bees, as the antennae are often really low on the face of the Crabronids and *typically* rest more towards the center on most bees (with exceptions like Duforea). You can also look at the submarginal cells (see above image) to notice the odd shape which would be unusual for a bee.

Our last weird wasp is in the genus Oxybelus in the family Crabronidae. This genus has distinct flanges on the end of the thorax, which would be unusual for most bees (though Coelioxys also has projections in the same area, though they are a different shape). This was collected by C. Gottfried in Wyandot County.


Bycatch updates:

Between the undergraduate student and our intern, we have made good progress on the hover fly project! We have around 8,000 specimens, with 7,300 of those now identified in the genus Toxomerus. The second most abundant genus was Eumerus with under 200 specimens. The larvae of the genus Eumerus are considered pests of allium and similar plants. Meanwhile, larvae of Toxomerus are considered beneficial since they eat aphids and other soft bodied insects.

We have about 400 hover fly specimens that still need identified to genus, so Eumerus could have it’s second place spot usurped by one of the other genera.

In general, the hover fly specimens do not fare nearly as well as they bees. Many of the specimens are shrunken and shriveled from the bowl traps and then freeze/thaw. This specimen is unusual in that it is in relatively good shape, but lacks the typical markings in the center of the abdomen. We are currently thinking this is just an aberrant Toxomerus marginatus.


Bored? Want to help out in the lab?

Email MaLisa to visit the Newark lab and help with various tasks. We have simple things like trimming labels to more challenging things, like identifying Ceratina bees or learning harder taxa. Just let me know when and how you would like to help.

All for now,

MaLisa

Oct 24 – Progress updates and Specialist bee project pinning

Hi everyone!

We are now up to 33,000 bees identified to at least genus from the bee bowl project, which is just over 60% done. Of those, over 18,000 bees are identified to species (33% complete).

The lab has been busy for the past several weeks and we are happy with the help from volunteers and our intern in Newark. Our intern has help identify over 1,500 bees to species and is now helping process the hover fly specimens as well. We hope to have the hover flies identified by the end of the year, but thankfully there are only 8,000 hover fly specimens compared to the 53,000 bees. It also helps that about 90% of the hover flies from the samples are in the genus Toxomerus, which is an easy genus to learn to identify to species.

To learn how to identify hover flies (also called flower flies), see this online guide: https://sites.google.com/view/flyguide/syrphidae
or these good field guides: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691189406/field-guide-to-the-flower-flies-of-northeastern-north-america

https://www.pollinationpress.com/store/p21/flowerflies.html


Specialist Bee Project Pinning:

In addition to the 2020 bee bowls, we also had people across Ohio target specialist bees. We had our first “pinning party” for the specialist bee project last week, with 4 people bringing 500 bees to the lab. We had a fun time and got everything pinned.

Jim Lundberg also brought his macrophotography focus stacking setup, so he imaged some cool specimens from our project.

This cuckoo wasp shows the high resolution of the focus stacking rig by Jim Lundberg. They are absolutely stunning! Even though it is not a bee, we can appreciate the cool pitting and textures.

An uncommon bee, this is a specialist mining bee on willows, collected by Gunn and Lundberg, and photographed by Lundberg in the lab.

One of my favorite bees, the Morning Glory Turret bee (Melitoma taurea) has a distinct black and gray pattern on the back. Photographed by Jim Lundberg.

Thanks to everyone who has made it to the lab and helped us pin, photograph, and identify specimens!


Weird finds from the bee bowl project:

Just in time for Halloween, we have the insect of nightmares: Twisted Wing Parasites!

This is a male Twisted wing parasite, but we rarely find the males alive or in any samples. Instead, continue reading to see the females that we found.

They may not look like much, but their life cycle is rather horrifying. They burrow into their host insect, and eat the hosts internal organs, often starting with the reproductive organs, but leaving enough organs for the host to survive. Since they start with the reproductive organs, the host often develops to look like an intersex instead of distinctly male or female (which makes identifying the host to species harder as many characters are sex specific).  The female twisted wing parasites are often a glorified sack of eggs sticking out of the abdomen of the host insect. We mostly find the females since they remain in the abdomen.

This Pseudopanurgus bee collected by J Poremski had a female twisted wing parasite sticking out of the abdomen.

An Andrena bee at the same site also had a female twisted wing parasite in it.

For more on the weird life cycles of twisted wing parasites, see: https://www.wired.com/2015/01/absurd-creature-of-the-week-strepsiptera/

I also covered twisted wing parasites (Order Strepsiptera) in two other blogs: https://u.osu.edu/beesurvey/2021/01/11/jan-10-progress-updates-and-at-home-tasks/ and https://u.osu.edu/beesurvey/2021/06/28/june-27-updates-of-the-week/

—-

We also had another terrifying predator, if you happen to be a beetle larvae.

Beware the Tiphia wasp, well, if you are a beetle larvae. These wasps parasitze a variety of beetle larvae that live in the ground, but thankfully do not go after humans. In fact, you should rejoice if you find a bunch of these in your lawn, as they are likely going after your invasive Japanese beetles.

All for now,

MaLisa

Oct 10th – Survey Updates

Hi everyone!

We are up to 27,700 bees identified to at least genus, which puts us halfway through our first round of easy IDs! Of those, 15,500 are done to species level, which puts us at around 30% completely done. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we slowly work our way through this large pile of bees.


Cool bees:

The coolest bee of the last two weeks was one of the dull green sweat bees! Normally, bees in the genus Lasioglossum have greenish thoraxes and brownish abdomens. However, S. Nelson’s site had several specimens of an uncommon Lasioglossum that has a pumpkin orange abdomen instead!

Most Lasioglossum bees have dark brown abdomens, but this species is bright orange instead! They are still really small (size of a grain of rice), so it would be hard to spot these in the wild while they are still alive, but they are distinct.


Upcoming Events:

Are you looking for more bee content in your life? There is a digital bee conference that might be of interest.
BeeCon 2021 – Oct 15/16 Free bee talks over Zoom. See more information here: https://www.yorku.ca/bees/beecon-2021/
If you have trouble registering, try using a different browser.

All for now,

MaLisa

Sept 27th – Identification updates

Hello everyone!

I have started to do the blog updates on a semi-weekly basis, in part because I am at the stage of identification where I am mostly identifying Ceratina for days on end and you might get tired of hearing about Ceratina once again. I was also on vacation for the last week, so that has not helped with new content creation.

A male bumble bee from my vacation says hello.

Either way, since our last blog update, we are now up to 22,000 of the bees identified to at least genus, with 12,500 of those identified to species.


Cool bees:

We did get our first male Hoplitis spoliata collected by Heath White, which is nice enough to have rather distinct antennae.

The bee looks normal and generic enough from the side. The two submarginal cells puts this in the family Megachilidae. This is not the genus Megachile because it has an arolia between the tarsi (though not visible in this photo).

Looking at the antennae directly, we can see the distinctly expanded segments. It is unusual for bees to have segments so disproportionally shaped in comparison to the rest of the antenna, with these wide segments almost double the width of the end segments.

 

All for now,

MaLisa

Sept 13th – Identification Progress and answers to guess that structure!

Hi Everyone,

I do not have that much exciting information to share, hence the decrease in posts. We are now over 21,000 bees identified to at least genus, with 12,000 of those finished with species level IDs. There is still plenty of work left to do, but we are making progress. I will also be out the next week and a half, so there will once again be a probably three week delay in the next blog post since I won’t be making any progress while I am out.

 


Interesting bees:

Most bees have somewhat wide heads, as shown by this Pseudopanurgus specimen below.

Pseudopanurgus are a group of mostly black bees that are generally uncommon, but most likely to be found in the fall on plants in the family Asteraceae. They have somewhat wide heads. They also have distinct facial fovea, which helps identify that they are in the family Andrenidae.

In direct comparison, perhaps our skinniest bees are in the genus Chelostoma.

Chelostoma bees are most often found in the spring. They are in the family Megachilidae, so they carry pollen on their stomach instead of their legs. They also are so distinctively skinny that it is hard to confuse them for the other Megachilidae.

 


Guess that structure:

No one guessed correctly for this structure, which is not that surprising.  They are the tibial spurs on the inner part of the legs! They are thought to help the bees brush pollen off their body to then load it onto their legs and help with general cleaning. Different species of bees have different tibial spurs and sometimes the shape is diagnostic for species level ID.

This is best shown in the Hook-spurred Longhorn Bee, Eucera hamata. A few people got these large bees in their samples, though they are not nearly as common as bumble bees.

The tibial spurs are on the inner side of the legs, so they are not often seen in most photographs. You have to move the specimen just right to be able to see the spurs.

In Eucera hamata, the tip of the spurs are distinctly hooked at the tip, which helps separate them from other Eucera species.

 

All for now,

MaLisa

Aug 22 – Identification Progress

Hi Everyone!

It was just me in the lab last week. Things were much quieter in comparison to the previous weeks with all the students. We are up to over 16,700 bees identified to at least genus and over 10,000 bees identified to species. Still plenty of work to go, but we will keep chugging along.


Identification fun:

We have over two thousand Calliopsis andreniformis. The females are black with distinct facial patterns. However, we have at least a few individuals with particularly reduced facial patterns like the image above. As far as I can tell it is just variation within the species, but it is interesting to see the level of variation that we are encountering.

Given the number of Calliopsis that we have in the samples, it is not surprising that we have so many of their parasitic bee counterpart, Holcopasites calliopsidis. This is a black and red parasitic bee with small white patches of hair on the abdomen that help determine the species level ID. I often find these parasitic bees resting on fleabane flowers, so keep an eye out for their red butts when you walk by fleabane.

We also have many yellow faced bees in the genus Hylaeus. This female was conveniently sticking out her tongue to show us the “paint brush” mouthparts that she uses to paint the cellophane like material that line their nests.

It should be unsurprising that we also have a ton of dull green sweat bees (Genus Lasioglossum). We also have been getting a few of the parasitic Lasioglossums.

The parasitic Lasioglossums have extra long mandibles and a wider face in comparison to the other sweat bees. We haven’t identified most of our Lasioglossum, so we are saving the final ID of these for a later date.


Guess That Structure:

I’ll give everyone one more week to try to guess these spine structures on this bee. No one guessed correctly last week.

All for now,

MaLisa