Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bumble Bee?

The butterfly weeds are blooming and they are covered with Bumble Bees. A friend brought me a poster that enables one to identify Bumble Bees. This poster is entitled Bumble Bees of Illinois and Missouri pub. by the Univ. of Illinois Dept. of Entomology. Look for females in late April through August. Don't look for males until August and September. (So this must be a female.) Then one has to look for a yellow thorax or a yellow thorax with a black spot. Then on down the chart one goes, noticing such things as black or yellow hair on top of head, the color of the segments, side view of head, eyes and so much more. Eventually one gets to identify the Bumble Bee. BUT, there is a little box off to the side, with red lettering! It says watch out for this one, the Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica for it is often confused with the Bumble Bee. So is it Bombus impatiens the bumble Bee or Xylocopa virginica the Carpenter Bee?

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