Thursday, June 14, 2012

Native Bees of Colorado

I knew that there were native bees, but I didn't know there were so many native bees until Greg, of Dakota Bees, told me. There are four thousand species of bee in North America. So, I started looking at my blooming plants and noticed that there were many bees other than honey bees. Many of the native bees are very tiny.

Here's teeny one. It's a small carpenter bee, Ceratina, on the flower of Centaurea. Look at all the white pollen on it's leg.

To show how tiny it is, here it is with a honey bee:

Another tiny one is this sweat bee, Halictus:

Here it is with some honey bees to compare with.

On the opposite side of the scale are the Bumble Bees. Here is a biggy, Bombus nevadensis, having trouble getting into Penstemon strictus otherwise known as Rocky Mountain penstemon.

A much smaller bumble bee is the brown belted bumble bee, Bombus griseocollis, here in my spotted gallica rose:

Here is a ground bee, Anthophora bomboides, with an amazing mouth:

This is a leaf cutter bee. I've seen plenty of it's workmanship on my roses, but hadn't seen the culprit until now. Lithurgus apicalis: