Range Tracking

Metallic Gem: Orchid Bee

Another great article from Janice Broda’s ORCA blog: ourorca.org

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area

ant & bee on hamelia patensBob Montanaro took this marvelous macro photograph of a green orchid bee (Euglossa dilemma) at the (Pelican Island) Audubon House on firebush (Hammelia patens). Thank you to Carol Thomas, especially Dr. Eric Blosser, and Dr. Roxanne Rutledge, all from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, for identification help.

This bee with its stunning, iridescent metallic sheen is thought to be a recent accidental introduction from Mexico or central American, where it and about 200 other species of orchid bees are important pollinators of orchids. Fast and agile flyers, these long-tongued bees are quite conspicuous.

Female orchid bees collect nectar, pollen and plant resins (propolis). Solitary and unlikely to sting, female orchid bees provision their eggs with nectar & pollen; Plant resins are used to construct nest cells (up to 20 at a time) in enclosed cavities. Like female honeybees, female orchid bees collect pollen, mixed with nectar…

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