Trapeze artist bee

Sorry for the lack of posts; I’m sort of having a rough time over here.  With one hand, I can’t do my field work and the doctor says no running, swimming, or biking for two months.  I’m not sure I can continue to justify my existence here without those things, so while I try to work out a back up plan, here are some photos I took before the accident.

The bee genus Melissodes belongs to the family Apidae, to which our friendly humble bee and honeybee, as well as the inimitable Euglossine bee, also belong.  What a noble family!

Although Melissodes is restricted in its distribution to the New World, it contains about 129 species (mostly in North America): pretty fair diversity for a single genus!

The common name for Melissodes is the “Long-horned bees”, which refers to their long antennae.

Melissodes desponsa, the male has a yellow-ish white face, the female is darker, with shorter antennae

Last week in the field, I spotted this strange phenomenon: three mating bees (two males and one female).

They were hanging off the side of a thistle while mating, and I caught this photo that I thought made them look like they were trapeze artists, performing in a circus, which, of course, I had to share.

Tada!

Ed:  I meant to mention that this post reminds me of the post by Garden Walk/Garden Talk on mating Carpenter Bees.  It is like a television drama.  You should check it out!

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9 thoughts on “Trapeze artist bee

  1. Pingback: Bazinga bees are less than humble « standingoutinmyfield

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