Saturday, October 16, 2010

Green Bees?

On a recent visit to Bolsa Chica, I spotted these tiny, metallic green wasps (I thought). They were fascinating, flashing in the sun, and I watched them for a while before taking a photograph which I, of course, posted on bugguide. It turns out that they are bees! There is such a thing as a metallic green bee.

Who knew?

Of course, now I want to know what the difference is between bees and wasps. If you'd asked me before, I'd probably have said that bees are chunky, fuzzy creatures and wasps are sleek, non-fuzzy creatures. But that, clearly, is not the difference.  And, since some bees are solitary and some wasps are social, their lifestyle doesn't help much either. Anyone got any ideas? Information? Links?


  1. Yes, I've seen those when I had cosmos growing in the front planter. Some were like these with the stripy abdomens and others were completely metallic green.

    Hmm, had a look around myself and most of what I found said bees are generally furrier, with flat hind legs for carrying pollen and lacking the very narrow waist that wasps and hornets have. It also seems to me that their faces are shaped differently but maybe I'm imagining that.

    By the way, I was thinking you might like this blog:

    She seems to be an entomologist and she lives in Tustin, so her posts are of local insects. And, of course, lots of photos of her garden, like you. ;)

  2. I'll definitely take a look at the blog. The first couple of posts look interesting.

    I'm always amazed at what I don't see--Why haven't I seen green bees before? Why didn't I know the bird of paradise is full of funnel web spiders? What else am I not seeing?