Friday, December 16, 2011

Part of the Year in New York City Bees

Were you paying attention to New York city bees this year? Did you catch this cool story about the naming of "new" species in New York, the neatly named Gotham bee being found at Brooklyn Botanic even? Knowing that even experts sometimes have to rely on DNA to identify between species makes me feel better about rarely getting beyond genus when trying to name the bees I find in my own garden. But it still won't stop me from paying attention to these visitors and giving it a try.

The bee in the top photo is one I identified in my own community garden plot as Triepeolus lunatus or something close. Am I positive that my ID is correct? Not by a long shot. But this is one of the places I sought out information from when attempting my identification. (If you follow that link, one of the first photos is by John Ascher and shows this bee on a Black-eyed Susan at Brooklyn Botanic.) The bee below I feel somewhat confident about calling an Agapostemon female. I'd love to say it's Agapostemon splendens, but perhaps I'd need to submit some photos into to get that far. But wouldn't it be neat if I did and the person to call it definitively was none other than Dr. John Ascher?

There are a lot of places to learn more about these bees, our native pollinators, but the most fun place for me is usually with my own eye in a garden I love.


frank@nycg said...

Ha - I love those irridescent green guys. I call them Christmas ball bees.

sarah said...

and what plant is this lovely bee visiting?

Sweetgum Thursday said...

The lovely xmas ball bee,as dubbed by frank, is visiting Verbena bonariensis, which was very prolific, almost to the point of being weedy, in my garden this year:)