The GNG is Buzzing with Pollinators!

June 28, 2016

One of the busy pollinators is the GNG is Hylaeus, or yellow masked bee. As a Genus, this small bee (about 3/16”) is easy to identify based on its sleek black body and pale markings on the face. But they are very hard to identify down to species level, even under a microscope.  Males tend to have extensive markings on their face, while females often have just two little strips on the insides of the eyes. One thing that makes Hylaeus unique in the bee world is that the female does not carry pollen externally.  Instead, she swallows the pollen and regurgitates it back at her nest as food for her young.  That’s one way to get the task done!

Yellow masked bee - Hylaeus sp. ♀ on Eriogonum fasciculatum flower.
Yellow masked bee – Hylaeus sp. ♀ on Eriogonum fasciculatum flower.
Hylaeus sp. ♀
Hylaeus sp. ♀
Hylaeus sp. ♂
Hylaeus sp. ♂
Hylaeus sp. ♂♀ mating
Hylaeus sp. ♂♀ mating

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