Fuzzy Euglossine bees: Eufriesia

So I’ve posted in the past about the gloriously beautiful Neotropical Euglossine bees, but I only posted photos of the shiny genus, Euglossa, before. There are less shiny Euglossines, including the genus Eufriesia.

I was lucky enough to get to see a Eufriesia bee building a nest up close, but it was a challenging photo situation. I stood on the top rung of a very dubious and narrow ladder balanced precariously against a cement wall while a tico held it behind me. In order to take photos, I had to flatten myself against the wall like a gecko and shoot straight up.

Eufriesia
Eufriesia
Eufriesia

But I also caught her, waited for her to calm down a bit, and took some photos of her standing on the table.

Eufriesia

In San Jose, I was able to photograph these bees buzz pollinating on solanaceous vines.

Eufriesia
Eufriesia
Eufriesia
Eufriesia

And I know some will protest, but for full disclosure, this is what a nest looks like when it is dissected. To be honest, I probably didn’t do any harm because the director of the station despised these bees (they use a sticky resin to build their nests and it is difficult to remove), and probably destroyed them as soon as my bee-cooing self left the station.

Eufriesia
Eufriesia

The most interesting thing about these nests (in my opinion) is that there must be some sort of fungal suppressant in the resin. The intact nest showed no sign of fungal infection, but where I accidentally cracked the edge, it was growing a pathogenic fungus within a matter of days. You can see the fungus at the bottom of the nest in the above photo.

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2 thoughts on “Fuzzy Euglossine bees: Eufriesia

  1. They remind me a bit of bumble bees. The photos were definitely worth the discomfort to get them! The resin reminds me of the propolis that honey bees make and has antiseptic properties. Amelia

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