Looks like a hornet
Do I win I prize?
Looks like a mason bee
I believe it's a sweat bee. There are a number of them which share those colorations but I'm not an entomologist and don't know ranges.
I don't think it is a cicada killer. cicada killers are really big. like 3 times the size of the original poster's pics.
We have them around here, they are completely non aggressive, you can be right next to them and watch them drag cicadas in their underground burrows. The started coming out about 2 weeks ago. Seem smaller than previous year's, where I have seem 2" maybe even 2.5". That one look like the same size as the ones around here this year. The are solitary and most of the time fly low to the ground. They avoid you but if your slow you can get close to them and their burrow
"Adult eastern cicada killer wasps are large, 1.5 to 5.0 centimeters (0.6 to 2.0 in) long,"
It fits the sized and has the same red brown wings
Last edited by FlowerPlanter; 06-05-2014 at 09:54 AM.
From the OPs description, there were a bunch in an apple tree. Sounds like a communal dweller - which might rule out the cicada killer.
Edit - it also appears to have hairs on its head which to me would suggest a bee.
I still say it's a sweat bee - halictus rubicundus, specifically...although if it IS indeed social, it's probably something else (although I'd still say something similar).
Last edited by hedges; 06-05-2014 at 10:42 AM.
Looks like one of these.
Zone 6b; Elv.3,600 ft.(1,097m); AA Rain 20.36 in. (51.72 cm)
Thank you everyone, it looks like a leaf cutter bee to me from the pictures and links that you provided. I should have put in a reference size, I agree, sorry about that.
If it's a lot smaller than a honeybee, then it is probably a sweat bee. There are so many bees with that coloration. My favorite place to go to for bee identification is http://bugguide.net/
it has many thousands of pictures of bees.
Here's a little sweat bee from my yard.
Here's one type of leaf cutter bee (there are many)
Soooo many bees!
I have to agree that is does seem to be a Leaf cutter bee of some species
Leaf cutter or a hornface mason bee. Good bee, no sting. Excellent pollinators
Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.