A Blue Bee?

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I stepped outside onto the roof the other day and discovered a remarkably iridescent blue bee hanging out on the ‘Centennial’ kumquat tree. At first I thought it might be one of the 2000 bees in The Halictidae Family. But it’s so blue, turquoise even! Can they be blue as well as shades of green?

Then I started to wonder if it is a bee at all. I’m still not very good about discerning a hornet from a bee. Or perhaps it’s an alien. They’re already here among us, just very tiny. This perspective is most likely reinforced by watching Alien and Aliens back-to-back recently.

I’ve looked around online and in the insect books on my shelf searching for identification but have come up short. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Minutes later a large dragonfly hovered around me. Some days my garden in the sky is more wild kingdom than the one on the ground.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “A Blue Bee?

  1. Wow, that is an amazing colour! It sure does look like a kind of bee, I wonder what kind? It’d be really helpful to have an entomologist friend handy for these kinds of things. I often find myself wondering “all those years in university, and I never made ONE entomologist buddy…”.

  2. I have these around my house too! I live in PA. They look like bees…but land and act like flies. They are the most beautiful colors!

  3. I never leave comments, but I get your blog in my reader and knew your wasp. It’s a cuckoo wasp (family Chrysididae). They are so beautiful, also, they don’t sting.

  4. Halictids certainly can be blue! I can’t say for sure by eye-ball what it is (Oh! The years of entomology is slowly eroding) but it’s a good guess to say it IS in the Halictidae.

    As for the whole hornet/bee/wasp thing, they’re all Hymenoptera (as are ants -which are technically wingless social wasps) and I don’t know any sure-fire way of saying which are which other than a general sense that bees are more robust while wasps/hornets are more slender… usually :P

    Some bees are social, some are solitary, some wasps are social, some are solitary so a hive/colony isn’t any good indicator, either.

    So, my thoughts are a definitive MAYBE.

  5. I have an Exquisite Creatures: Insect Art calendar by Christopher Marley and it happens to look like July’s photo of the Borneo Wasp.

    Very cool, I want one!

    What type of lens did you use for this shot?

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