The wildflowers in my yard have been blooming. They have been blooming all around town. This is a penstemon. Parry’s Penstemon to be exact. I think they are gorgeous plants. They also attract bees. They attract bees like this one.
This is a bee in the genus Anthophora. I don’t know the exact species (I think it may be Anthophora californica…or maybe A. urbana). You have to love the beautiful stripes on her abdomen. They are distinct. I really like the flight of these bees. They are fast. Very very fast. They are the superman’s of bees. Faster than a speeding bullet…well, maybe not that fast, but fast for a bee. Just look at how fast her wings are moving. They have this distinct flight. Fast and jerky. They go to one flower, very quickly gather nectar, then off to another. Their body is also distinct. They have robust bodies. They do not have the long and slender abdomen. Their abdomen is large and round. The J-Lo’s of bees if you will.
All Anthophorids are solitary bees, which means they nest alone. They do not have hives nor is there any caste system. It’s them. Alone. They nest in the ground and sometimes you can see aggregations. But they all gather food and nesting material for their own offspring (babies). They are cool little bees. Now that spring is here, look out for these bees in your garden.