chescobob(z6b SEPA)September 16, 2005

I was at a nursery today looking at a plant with blue flowers when I noticed a several large bees. Its abdomen (part with the stinger in case I have the wrong name for body part) was solid black and it had large wings.

Can anyone guess at this type of bee?

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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Maybe a carpenter bee? Are they in Chester County?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 9:43PM
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Carpenter bees are abundant in my Butler County garden. I just wish I knew where they go to do their 'carpentering' when they are done eating all my pollen.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 10:42PM
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lynn_d(Z5 PA)

Gaz, they come here and burrow into the roof beams of my koi pond that's where! I guess because it is the only untreated lumber that they can find (untreated because it is over the pond). I have many little holes, perfectly round, so perfect that it looks like someone drilled them. I marvel at their work but really do not want them there.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 8:47AM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

The bee was larger than a bumblebee.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Carpenter bees are bigger than bumblebees. And that back body part is black, shiney and naked, not fuzzy and larger than the front part that contains the head.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 7:15PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Thanks for the difference Gazania, I have tons of carpenter bees in my garage.... NOT a good thing, and couldn't tell if what I see in the garden were bumbles or carps. I better have both! I wan the one to stay and the other to leave. Hopefully new siding will keep them out of the wood.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 8:16AM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

I saw a bumbler yesterday and its abdomen was black but quite different from the bees I saw at the nursery. The bees at the nursery did have shiny black abdomens so they probably were carpenter bees. It was the first time I saw such a large bee.

By the way, are honey bees small? The nursery fellow bumped a couple on their abdomen and said they were honey bees. I thought honey bees were larger. The ones he said were honey bees were smaller than bumblebees. (Please remember, I spent the last 30 some years in a city. I'm new to country living.)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 11:47AM
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Honey bees are quite a bit smaller than bumblebees. Honey bees are not very common in our gardens these days due to a disease that has wiped out most of the honey bee population in the wild. I suspect that what a lot of people are seeing in their gardens are not honey bees, but are drone flies. Drone flies look very similar to honey bees. Do a google search for both to learn the difference.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 2:25PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)


Thanks. I think the nursery fellow was correct about the smaller bees being honey bees. Its possible that in that area there are bee-keepers. The only bees I have seen in my yard are bumblebees. They like the chaste tree, clethra, and find the roses interesting.

I found this item on the internet. It has a lot of good pictures on bees, wasps, and flies. The drone flies do look like honey bees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bees, Flies, and Wasps

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 7:59PM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Funny thing about honey bees. I have not seen any in my gardens this year, though there re a lot of bumbles, and way too many carpenters which constantly severly damage my shed roof beams and porch beams, but:

I was at the Winterthur garden fair Friday and Saturday, and saw hundreds, all concentrated of a couple of agastache plants. They ignored all the other flowers, but zeroed in on these in swarms. A soft drone of sound all around them. I think I'll plant some in my garden.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:15AM
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George, it was honey bees at Winterthur? I have a lot of Agastache but no honey bees. A lot of drone flies, bumble and carpenter bees. And a bunch of other bee types I can't positivley identify, but, darn! No honey bees.

I do have a good many bees that have a very small white pollen sac on their legs (Compared to to the usual honey bees yellow larger sac) I am seeing these mostly on the Buddleia and Calamintha. I don't think they are honey bees. Anybody know what they are?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:09PM
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I am also beefuddled, we have the same type of bees that keep chasing our Humming birds away from the feeder. There's usually 2 of them & it's almost like 1 feeds one the feeder & the other bees is the 1 who chases the birds. Does anyone have a pictures of these bees?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 10:03PM
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annld(6B PA)

You can go to Google image search and type in "carpenter bee" and see what they look like. They also have photos of their nests -- burrowed holes in tree stumps mainly. I've seen them at work before. It's really quite remarkable how they can create such perfect holes when they're just these little bugs. They sound like little buzz saws when they're burrowing in the wood. But I agree -- we don't want them taking up residence in *our* wood.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:30PM
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