Posted by: buzzybeegirl | October 6, 2008

The leaves are falling…and the bees are leaving

I went over to goodbear’s house tonight for chocolate cake (with cherries) and a bottle of Syrah from a local vineyard & winery. I was looking at the branch that once held hundreds…yes, hundreds of male Agapostemon bees. If you don’t believe me, look at the photos that show only a fraction of the bundle o’ bees on a mesquite branch. Tonight, however, it was different. There were only a few bees left on a small branch. It is starting to get cold. Cold for me. Yes…60 degrees Fahrenheit is cold for me. And it’s cold for the bees.

I feel sad that the bees will soon be gone, so I am dedicating these photos to the metallic wonders we call sweat bees…the ones we call ‘The Agapostemon.’

Here is an Agapostemon visiting a squash flower at a local organic farm. You can see the metallic upper body (head and thorax) and the yellow striped bottom (abdomen). It’s legs almost match the color of the blossom. As I mentioned in a previous post, one difference between Augochlora bees and Agapostemon can be the yellow striped abdomen. There are some Agapostemon female bees that are all green metallic in color, but others have the striped abdomen.

Here is another Agapostemon visiting a creosote flower. Again…metallic upper body and yellow striped bottom.

In fashion terms metallic green and yellow stripes would not mesh well together, yet these bees still look fabulous?


  1. while the bees haven’t quite learned how to “smile with their eyes” …they’re still quite lovely.

    i, too, am getting sad about the bees diminishing.
    here are the words that pop into my head when i think about our natives: colorful, industrious, delicate, loud, interesting, habitual, comforting, shiny, tiny, enigmatic, and important.

    so, i am hopeful your studies…and the education opportunities the studies provide…will make people appreciate this shimmery little guys.

  2. I am still optimistic goodbear. As long as I have friends like you that have taken a liking to these amazing creatures, I feel like I am getting the message across. Thanks for loving the bees.

  3. Hey! I like bees too! I just don’t happen to live near you guys so I can’t come out and play as well.

    Buzzybeegirl: perhaps you could briefly explain the diff between bees and those stinging/flying bugs we call wasps and yellow jackets. We get lots of yellow jackets around here in the fall and they are a nuisance – I much prefer the more docile bees.

  4. Forkboy, you and the other blog readers are included in that statement =-)

    And thanks for asking that question. I have to look at my pictures at home to find a wasp and that will be the topic for my next post…you are one of my virtual research assistants.

  5. With virtual pay I bet!

  6. Of course…and virtual taxes are taken out.

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