Honeybee? or Not?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Davidson, North Carolina, USA
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    12

    Default Honeybee? or Not?

    So, yesterday I noticed this bee checking out a hole in one of my outdoor couches. I assumed it was a honey bee, it looked like one after all. Well today I went back outside and saw a tiny head and antennae sticking out of the hole. I went to look at it and it popped right back up into the hole. It came out and flew away and I thought that was the last I would see of it. Nope. It's back and I managed to get some pictures. Can anyone confirm or deny that this is a honeybee, and if so why would it be alone in a hole in my metal couch?

    Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 5.32.51 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-05-05 at 5.33.15 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2015-05-05 at 5.33.41 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2015-05-05 at 5.34.03 PM.jpg

    P.S. I had to make awkward Human-Bee eye contact for 20 minutes before I got these.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Triadelphia, West Virginia
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    579

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Google mason bees, they also live in the holes in my porch furniture.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
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    35

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Definitely a mason bee. Mason bees (see the alternative pollinators forum) are solitary bees and typically live in holes (natural reeds, hollowed canes, etc.) How big is that tube? Typically they'll nest in something in the 6mm-8mm size.

    One difference is you can see how hairy it is. Generally, mason bees are better pollinators on a bee-per-bee basis, I guess because you could say they're less tidy. All that hair collects the pollen so they're a natural brush as they move from flower to flower.

    Unfortunately. with the hundreds of species of mason bees it's difficult to tell which species....I couldn't tell from photo 2 whether there was a clear horn, but Osmia cornifrons (horn-faced bee) is more similar to a honey bee in looks than many other mason bees.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    angola,ny
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    98

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Is there any way to discourage them from living inside your furniture?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    67

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    LOL! While you're here asking how to keep them from living in "your" furniture, She's using another forum to figure out how to keep you from sitting on "her" house! Pic #2 is just great!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,088

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Looks like a mason bee. I keep them in a shelter I built and attached to the barn. They are wonderful pollinators and fun to keep. I have a former neighbor who can't keep honeybees so I taught her to keep mason bees and she loves them. They're really not a problem like carpenter bees can be.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    angola,ny
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    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Any ideas how to discourage them from using furniture to live in?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Connie1 View Post
    Any ideas how to discourage them from using furniture to live in?
    Duct tape? A cork? Caulk?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Mason Bee.
    I have these too on my property, but the type I have are not solitary.
    They live in a colony with no queen.
    I have attached a pic of a Garden Gnome that I cut open to have a look at their colony.
    They made these round cells out of mud and pack each with one larva and a bunch of pollen.
    masonbee.jpg
    nest.jpg

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central Ohio USA
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    75

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    From what I understand, that is not a colony but a series of individual cells that the same individual bee lays an egg in. She then packs it with pollen/nutrients and finishes by sealing it up with mud.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Davidson, North Carolina, USA
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    12

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Awesome thanks! I made a mason bee home, so hopefully they'll choose that over the furniture!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Davidson, North Carolina, USA
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    12

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    That's super cool!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
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    590

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperdirk View Post
    From what I understand, that is not a colony but a series of individual cells that the same individual bee lays an egg in. She then packs it with pollen/nutrients and finishes by sealing it up with mud.
    In mine it's multiple bees.
    I did some reading about these Kentucky bees and it said, our bees are especially interesting to biologists because many species have evolved to live in social colonies recently in evolutionary history. Closely related bee species are known to be social in one habitat and solitary in another. These patterns can help biologists study the origins of social behavior among insects. Some Kentucky bee species show intermediate social behavior: several individual bees create nests near one another but do not work together.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central Ohio USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Honeybee? or Not?

    Wow! I would not have expected colonial and solitary tendencies of the same species of insect, dependent on habitat.

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