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Thread: Bee ID help

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Dallas, Texas, USA
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    Default Bee ID help

    Can someone tell me what they think this species might be? I just noticed these in my garden for the first time today. They're a bit larger than a honeybee, but not as large as a typical bumble bee. Also, their flight is very similar to the orchid bee in that it tends to hover like a hummingbird and then dart away rapidly. I live in Dallas, Tx if that helps in narrowing down the species. Tried to upload the image directly, but it kept failing so here's a link to my imgur page: http://imgur.com/3zsZ3

  2. #2
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    North Tazewell, Virginia
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Looks like a wood boreing bee to me cause of the size of the head. They like nector and wood is their diet I have some in a hive on my porch don't seem to mess with the bees. Their clumbsy and fun to watch There bite hurts alot worse than a sting.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Ga,Madison county
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverratbees View Post
    Looks like a wood boreing bee to me cause of the size of the head. They like nector and wood is their diet I have some in a hive on my porch don't seem to mess with the bees. Their clumbsy and fun to watch There bite hurts alot worse than a sting.
    They look like carpenter bee's, they can destroy wood, they love old barns, I kill all I can

  4. #4
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    Jul 2011
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    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    I'm with Ted ,carpenter Bee ,and they aren't just in Texas,but i wish they were,would save me a call every year about bees in a building that i don't want

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    That's not a carpenter bee, its carrying pollen on its hind legs. Looks more like a bumble bee, like an impatiens.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  6. #6
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    Jul 2011
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    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    rwuster bumble bees have ylw on their abdomen,or atleast i always thought they were supposed to have yellow on their abdomen

  7. #7
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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  8. #8
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    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Thanks mike the illinois site is very interesting,but beekgeek is in Texas do they have the same bees there and what kind of bee do you think is in beekgeeks photo,i still thank it is a carpenter bee but i owe rwuster an apology now i know all bumblebees don't have ylw on there abdomen.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    RWuster

    So, only the bumble bees have pollen baskets on their legs? I have a ton of Carpenter bees around my house (because they bore into the wood), but didn't think I had any bumble bees. But I do have some smaller bees that look almost identical that have pollen baskets. How do Carpenter bees carry pollen?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ga,Madison county
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Quote Originally Posted by bnm1000 View Post
    RWuster

    So, only the bumble bees have pollen baskets on their legs? I have a ton of Carpenter bees around my house (because they bore into the wood), but didn't think I had any bumble bees. But I do have some smaller bees that look almost identical that have pollen baskets. How do Carpenter bees carry pollen?

    Thanks!
    I'm not sure about pollen, but bumble bees have almost a fur on them, Carpenter bees are slick on hind half of body all black' also a white spot on head, will not sting. Bumble bees have no white spot and do sting

  11. #11
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Yes I didn't mention that the bee in the pic had 'hair' on its abdomen also, that was the first thing that tipped me off along with the pollen baskets on its back legs. Carpenter bees carry their pollen on the underside of their bodies, and they can fly sideways or straight up or down as fast as they can fly forward (if you ever try to catch one lol). Anyway, if you get to see one you will see the yellow pollen on their underside or even covering their whole body which I think is pretty cool.

    The carpenter bees around here carry pollen on their undersides anyway. Looks like other carpenters in other areas might have pollen baskets on their legs. Of course I can't find the link to the carpenter bees in my area. If I can get a good pic of one I'll post it.
    Last edited by rwurster; 05-04-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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  12. #12
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    San Mateo, Ca, USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    so I think the definitive test would be to slap the bee. if it stings you then you can relax that it isn't a carpenter bee

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Carpenter bees here are all black, but color can vary. Pretty sure they can sting too, they were never happy to go into that killing jar when i was younger.

  14. #14
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    I live in Fort Worth. I had a bumble moth in my garden not too long ago. big, but not a bee.
    Type this in google, and you'll get a bunch of pics: bumblebee moth pictures
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Olympia, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Bee ID help

    First of all, nice photo. It seems like a bumblebee, and B impatiens seems probable, although I do not know Texas bees - we don't have it in western WA, (our narrow little niche) but B impatiens is a common eastern bbee. As best as I can tell, only a few bees, all highly social, have corbicula (pollen baskets); of the corbicula bearing bees, only honey bees and bumblebees are North American.

    As for i.d., here are two very good links.
    Bugguide is strong on photos and has many helpful members. Here is their bumblebee link: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3077
    DiscoverLife is oriented to using a checklist sort of key, including winnowing it down by location and by as many features as you can observe. However, they also have an excellent photo library. Check out this photo of B impatiens by Sherry Pollock: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?a...,I_SOP2607.jpg.

    By the way, while this pollen basket narrows down the i.d. on this bee to a female bumblebee, bees that lack a basket include male and parasitic bumblebees. (Male bees do not gather pollen except incidentally.)

    Glen Buschmann
    olypollinator@aol.com
    Bees, Birds, and Butterflies
    www.olypollinator.blogspot.com

    Quote Originally Posted by BeekGeek View Post
    Can someone tell me what they think this species might be? I just noticed these in my garden for the first time today. They're a bit larger than a honeybee, but not as large as a typical bumble bee. Also, their flight is very similar to the orchid bee in that it tends to hover like a hummingbird and then dart away rapidly. I live in Dallas, Tx if that helps in narrowing down the species. Tried to upload the image directly, but it kept failing so here's a link to my imgur page: http://imgur.com/3zsZ3

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    4

    Default Re: Bee ID help

    Howdy Folks,

    The bee in the image is a female Xylocopa, a carpenter bee.

    2 obvious characters are the scopa - pollen carrying apparatus on the hind legs, and the mouth parts.

    Bumblebees do have corbicula which are a wide concave structure on the tibia rimmed with bristles. Comparatively, a scopa is a mass of bristles which can occur on the hind legs or on other parts of the body, such as the abdomen in leafcutter bees.

    Many native species of bees have a scopa on the hind legs.

    Hope this was helpful,

    Cheers

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