Bee ID - black honeybee?
I let my basil go to flower in the garden, and yesterday I saw three bees on it in the midafternoon which were the exact size and shape of honeybees, but they were black -- I think almost solid black. I didn't get a really close look because they were totally non-aggressive and after I was nearby for too long, they left.
They were darker than a Carniolan and larger than mason bees. They also appeared to be faster flyers than honeybees, but not dramatically so. I assume they are a social bee since there were 3 in one place at once.
Are there extremely dark honeybees which have naturalized in the southeast? I very much doubt I have any beekeepers nearby since I am mostly surrounded by woods.
My only real desire for an ID is because my new home has a dearth of bee forage, which I am attempting to correct. I have seen quite a few species of tiny native bees plus bumblebees and carpenters bees, but overall very, very few bees and no honeybees. Such a docile pollinator is definitely welcome and I want to try and be sure that I include forage for them.