bees

Yesterday I was stalking my sunflower plants for insects to photograph, and all the critters seemed to be just out of range. Of course, it didn't help it was hot outside and I had other things to do.

checkered-skipper-butterfly-far-0248The checkered skipper was on the other side of the garden.

leafcutter-far-251The leafcutter bee teased from afar.

Take a deep breath.

checkered-skipper-butterfly-closer-249The checkered skipper came in for a closer view. Be patient.

Leafcutter-bee-261The leafcutter bee finally perched nearby (uncropped image).

Patience is rewarded.

leafcutter-bee-croppedWith a little cropping, we have our Bug of the Week.

 

 

After doing Bug of the Week for so many years, it can be difficult to find something new. This week I was lucky.

stripy-bee-226

Although it looks quite a bit like a sand wasp, this is a new kind of cuckoo bee. It might be Triepeolus sp. (like this one).

stripy-bee-front

Look at the tongue (proboscis) that it using to suck up nectar.

cuckoo-bee

We have seen another cuckoo bee in our yard before, Xeromelecta californica (previous post).

Named after cuckoo birds, cuckoo bees lay their eggs in the nests of other kinds of bees or sometimes wasps, depending on the species. They don't build their own nests and lack pollen baskets for collecting pollen. It's not a warm and fuzzy lifestyle, but that's nature for you.