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Thread: Small Bees

  1. #1

    Question Small Bees

    I keep finding these small bees in my basement usually walking on the floor. Any idea what kind they are? and where they are coming from? I really don't want a swarm in the spring. They are about 1/2 inch long. I live in the Niagara region of Ontario near Lake Erie.
    IMG_2040[1].jpgIMG_2039[1].jpg

  2. #2
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    I had them one winter in Ohio. Same thing - never flying. I didnít have a swarm in the spring, but Iím curious if anyone knows more about this phenomenon.

  3. #3
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    ask an expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Sidley View Post
    I keep finding these small bees in my basement usually walking on the floor. Any idea what kind they are? and where they are coming from? I really don't want a swarm in the spring. They are about 1/2 inch long. I live in the Niagara region of Ontario near Lake Erie.
    IMG_2040[1].jpgIMG_2039[1].jpg
    Do you have a university nearby? A professor in the entomology department might be able to ID if you take one or two. Maybe even by the photo, perhaps get one from the side too. I've found professors very helpful over the years, I've sent pictures of fossils, plants, and insects.

    Once I found a cluster of salamander eggs in a rotted pocket of wood in a deck I was tearing down. I caught the salamander and took it and the eggs to the University of TN where they got all excited - turns out it was a rare green salamander on some kind of endangered species list. They were going to hatch the eggs.

    JKJ

  4. #4
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    It looks like they may be a specie of bumblebee. Bumblees will usually nest in the ground in previously made holes, like a rodent hole, but I've seen them nest insides of sheds, or house foundations, entering through a rotted section of sill, or a crack. I once found a bumblebee nest in a bag of leaves in my garden that I had left next to my compost pile.

  5. #5
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    Do you have a university nearby?
    If not, check with your county to see if they have an agricultural or pest control department.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    I read once that there are something like 4000 species of bees in the US!

    JKJ

  7. #7
    I believe it is a type of bee fly. Exact name would have to come from an entomologist. It is definitely not a honeybee. Honey bees have downward bent antennae.
    honey-bee-foraging-side-view.jpg
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
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  8. #8
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    Look at "carpenter bees" . That is what it looks like to me. They are not a joke they bore holes in wood.
    Jim

  9. #9
    I don't think there Carpenter Bees wrong colour and size, I have also been told they are mason bees which after some research seems right.

  10. #10
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    Carpenter bee
    Jim
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Sidley View Post
    I have also been told they are mason bees which after some research seems right.
    Mason bees are valuable pollinators.

    male-red-mason-bee-78380333-1200x800.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-05-2019 at 11:23 PM.

  12. #12
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    The carpenter bees around here are huge, almost 1/2" in diameter.

  13. #13
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    San Antonio, TX
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    I ate with our schools entomologist this morning at Cowboy Breakfast (Rodeo is about to start) and showed him the pictures. He asked me to send him the pictures and he will try to identify. He is a world renown Moth expert, but sounded like he had a pretty good idea of the family. He has connections to the bee community and probably can get a species identification.

    John

  14. #14
    Wow, thanks!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    I ate with our schools entomologist this morning at Cowboy Breakfast (Rodeo is about to start) and showed him the pictures. He asked me to send him the pictures and he will try to identify. He is a world renown Moth expert, but sounded like he had a pretty good idea of the family. He has connections to the bee community and probably can get a species identification.

    John
    Here is Ric's response
    "Hi John,
    These are bees of the family Andrenidae, called mining bees. They are solitary (as opposed to social like honey bees) and they nest in holes in the ground. Some kinds emerge in early spring before the snow is gone. Many have only one generation per year. They are harmless and never aggressive, and could only sting if someone grabbed it with the hand. You can google the name Andrenidae for more information. There are about 1200 species of Andrenidae in North America.
    Cheers,
    Ric "

    Hope this helps.

    John

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