May Mission: Wild Bee Survey

VCE’s Vermont Wild Bee Survey  is assessing and documenting all bee species in the state, from the tiny Eight-spotted Miner Bee to the scary-looking and invasive Sculptured Resin Bee. There is so much happening in the Natural World in May that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To help, we’ve put together this list of bees to be on the lookout for. Since many bees are not possible to identify to species without a microscope, we have chosen a few species that are relatively distinctive to allow us the best chance to identify them from your May iNaturalist photo-observations.

Southeastern Blueberry Bee (Habropoda laboriosa) - Not yet known from Vermont, but worth looking for, especially in southern parts of the state. Superficially similar to a bumble bee worker, but smaller than the queens that are active right now. Strong affinity for blueberries.

Clark’s Mining Bee (Andrena clarkella) - A northern willow specialist with distinctive orange hairs on the hind legs.

Dunning's Mining Bee (Andrena dunningi) - A relatively large, forest-dwelling Andrena. The thorax is covered in short reddish hair and the abdomen is shiny and black. Seems to be uncommon.

Milwaukee Mining Bee (Andrena milwaukeensis) - A common late spring species that seems to be tied to flowering understory trees such as Mountain Maple and Hawthorn. Distinctive with long red hairs on T1 and T2 (the upper part of the abdomen).

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) - Seen by some as a pest since it has a habit of drilling holes in untreated wood and defending its space aggressively. Not a serious threat to humans or structures, but an interesting species to monitor since it has expanded its range northward. Still mostly confined to the warmer parts of the state, but it has been recorded from as far north as Alburgh and Montpelier.

Bufflehead Mason Bee (Osmia bucephala) -  A well-named bee that we don't know a lot about. I've seen it on lupins in gardens and deep in the woods.

Many of the most interesting May bees are hard to identify Andrena that specialize in a small group of flowers. Plants with specialists of interest that should be blooming in May include dogwoods, blueberries, geraniums, cinquefoils, bittercress, Virginia Waterleaf, Sheep Laurel, and Golden Alexander. Of course we encourage you to post any and all sightings (bees or otherwise) to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.

Anotado por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland, jueves, 07 de mayo de 2020 a las 01:09 PM

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