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Thread: Solitary bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default Solitary bees

    Yesterday I saw a "large bee fly"... fascinating! I looked it up and they are parasitic to solitary bees, which would imply that I have those around somewhere. I "googled" them, and they look to me like honey bees. How can I tell the difference, and where do they nest?

    Large bee fly: http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/m...s/lgbeefly.jpg
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I had no idea bee flies parasitize on bees! Fascinating. I'll have to look into this a little more. We have tons of bee flies come out in early spring in the woods around my office.

    As for finding solitary bees, I think they are talking about leaf-cutters, blue orchards, hornfaced, bumble bees, etc. None of these bees (most are native) have colonies like honey bees. They nest alone.

    EDIT: I just re-read your post. Are you looking for where bee flies nest? From what I've read, they are nest parasites of the solitary bees. They put their eggs in the solitary bees nest and their larva eat what ever stores the solitary bees put in the nest.

    Here is a pic I took April 1: http://flickr.com/photos/92321539@N00/2481485175/
    -Chris
    Top Bar Hive Blog: http://chris.norrick.com/bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    Default

    How did you ever get the bee fly to stay still?! I had a hard enough time just trying to look at one.

    Thanks for the info. I was (mistakenly) under the impression that a "solitary bee" was one type of bee, not a description of a group. Live and learn!

    I was actually wondering where solitary bees nest, not the flies. Sorry for not being clear. I did see a leafcutter bee last year.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
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    1,474

    Default are bumble bees considered solitary?

    I know that bumblebees form colonies of up to a few hundred and only the future queens survive the winter, but are they still considered solitary bees?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    How did you ever get the bee fly to stay still?! I had a hard enough time just trying to look at one.
    It was a very cold day

    @ berkshire, My above statement is wrong, bumble bees are a social bee.
    -Chris
    Top Bar Hive Blog: http://chris.norrick.com/bees

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